There have been a lot of posts and articles out there that talk about how Lent is not a time for self-help, or a way to diet, or to kick a bad habit—rather, it’s a time of sacrifice. I know this. It is not about me, it’s about God and taking away the things that distract us from Him.
But, I’m of the opinion that the two go hand-in-hand. As anyone who has given up something for Lent that’s habitual, like smoking, or drinking coffee, and I bet they’ll tell you that when it comes time for that break, they are thinking of that item first, and God second. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Resisting temptation and turning it into a sacrifice is supposed to be hard. There’s no way I can tell for sure, but I think that’s when prayers are pretty strong, or at least the most heartfelt, at least for to me.
There probably is a line that Catholics have to watch out for…a line that separates us from doing things only for ourselves and not for God at all, but otherwise, I’d have to say, God wants us to be the best we can be, so if we get a little self help or dieting in on the way, so be it.
I was thinking of the Johnny Cash song “I Walk the Line,” (hence, the title) because of the lyrics “I keep a close watch on this heart of mine; I keep my eyes wide open all the time; I keep the ends out for the tie that binds; Because you’re mine, I walk the line.”
I think it’s a fitting way to go through Lent.