I know, Lent is still pretty far away, but it is one of my favourite Christian traditions. It has been since I read about it in a book many many moons ago, when I was about 14. I start planning what I'm going to give up months in advance. I relish the idea of the upcoming sacrifice. That probably says something about me, that I like to give something up only for a defined period of time. I'm great at it usually, provided that it is something concrete--say junk food, not my snooze button. (The snooze button experiment of 2000-something was a definite failure.) This year I've been trying to identify what would be the most beneficial thing to give up, and I'm thinking it won't be something concrete. I'm thinking it will be harder. I'm thinking that what I'm going to try to give up is the fear of man, their perceptions of me, or least my perception of their perceptions. I'm thinking that the idea behind Lent isn't just to sacrifice something, or to relish the feeling of asceticism I get, but rather to take the time to look at what is holding me back from Jesus, and to let go of that, to focus my eyes upon Jesus. And I'm also thinking, why wait?
If I know that this is a stumbling block for me, and it is, why wait? I spend far too much time being paralyzed by how people will react, and often that fear stops me from acting at all. It wraps me up in my head, imagining their judgement, their disapproval, and beating myself up with it. And that needs to stop. The only judgement I should be concerning myself with is God's.