Lenten Resolve - Cheryl Fogle-Hatch

Here we are in the 2nd week of Lent, and I still haven't decided what I should do for the liturgical season.  In fact, I haven't made, or kept,  a Lenten resolution for many years.

When I was a child, my parents added Lenten resolutions to the family's list of regular chores that they always posted in the kitchen.  One year, I promised to give up cookies for lent.  My parents made a tactile drawing of a cookie using puff paint to outline a circle with dots inside representing chocolate chips.  Since I usually got home before my parents, I ignored the drawing taped to the cupboard door and continued to have cookies after school.  My mother must have noticed that the package of cookies was opened, but she never said anything to me about failing to keep my Lenten resolution.

When I told this story to friends in a campus ministry, someone suggested a different approach.  The idea was to give up chocolate, keep track of the amount of money that I saved in the cafeteria, and donate it to church.  That motivation actually worked for me, and I put extra money in the collection basket on Easter.  But the whole thing felt too much like following external rules, and that was the last year that I gave up anything for Lent.

In recent years, I have tried adding more time for prayer in Lent instead of giving up something material.  I have had very little success with it, but I continue to pray for the grace to keep these resolutions.  At least now Easter is only 5 weeks away.