Focused for Forty

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday. During Lent, we’re called upon to sacrifice as penance and remembrance. As a child, I’d give up pop a.k.a. soda, french fries, candy, etc. At the time, it seemed like a deep sacrifice, but throughout the years I’ve come to understand the seriousness of the season, so I aim to select something more challenging and colorful.

This Lenten season I’ve surrendered my right to complain. In truth, I do not complain as much as whine, but rooted in the simplest complaint is the dark and dangerous symptom of selfishness. Sometimes when I complain about my life, and its demands, I fail to understand and appreciate the needs of others.

Below is my complaint corner.

I don’t like when I complain about being busy. There are a lot of people in this world who yearn for an active and adventurous life. I’m blessed to be busy.

I don’t like when I complain about family. So many members of my big and beautiful family are scattered throughout the country. In the past, I’ve been frustrated over familial obligations that occupy weekends or demand complex coordination of the calendar. Ultimately, someone in this world is praying for companionship and love, so I’m determined to exert more effort and appreciation in honor of the family.

I don’t like when I complain about household chores. This is my greatest offense, but I’m passionately optimistic about eliminating it. I no longer want to complain about cleaning, laundry, or dishes. When I look at my home I think of the hard work it took to earn it, the promise it holds, and the love that sustains it. I don’t want to complain about duties. Instead, I want to celebrate and cherish my home, especially since many people struggle to find shelter and warmth for much of their lives.

For the next forty days, I’m focused on this Lenten commitment, which if executed appropriately, will change burdens into blessings, complaints into praise, and selfishness into selfless and soulful love.

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