Less than three weeks to Easter! Are you starting to wonder if you’re going to see “improvement” from your Lenten journey?
“Go all in,” Pat challenges. Although he admits this isn’t easy.
Before you start, there’s something you should know: people are generally pretty bad at predicting their future levels of happiness. This phenomenon is called affective forecasting.
It’s similar to starting an exercise program — you think it’s going to be impossibly hard or uncomfortable and will make you unhappy. But once you start to see a few improvements, you’ll end up happier than you could have predicted.
Lent is like an opportunity to do P90X for the soul. Those obligations we’re afraid of — prayer, fasting, and almsgiving? They orient us toward God who is our ultimate happiness.
For example, charity expressed in almsgiving helps increase our capacity for love, fasting helps us break away from our dependence on material things, and prayer is how we ask for help along the way.
The point is that these practices are not arbitrary: they’re powerful, purposeful, and build character and virtue. Of course, they’re challenging at first – but they’re there for a reason: they get results.
Start with what you can this Lent, but make a commitment to try to follow through. Once you start to see the changes, you’ll wonder, how did I ever get along without this?