I admit it! I’m tired. I’m hungry. I’m grumpy. I’m frustrated. It must be Great Lent. At some point during your Great Lenten Journey, I’m guessing you have felt some, most, or all these emotions. At this point during the fourth week of our journey, Great Lent seems to be taking its toll on me. You may not be experiencing this struggle, but for me Lenten Fatigue is another cross I must bear during the final weeks before Holy Week.
There can be many reasons for this fatigue, but normally it’s because I have stopped paying attention to the spiritual war I am engaged in during these weeks. The fasting has become routine. The extra services no longer are extra since they have become part of my daily schedule. There is one thing new. It seems like everyone is getting on my nerves. Forgive me for admitting it, but I’m easily frustrated these last couple of weeks of Great Lent.
By the time Holy Week begins, it becomes new again. The services shift. The anticipation builds, and it will be easier to focus again. In the meantime, my cross will be to push through Great Lent without losing the ground my soul may have gained in the past three weeks. I pray I’ve made progress anyway, but if I haven’t at least I have the next two weeks.
The devil uses my Lenten fatigue as a way of tempting me to believe all this effort won’t have any benefit. The daily news still reports school shootings, murders, and human trafficking, not to mention my own struggles. I believe today’s reading from Proverbs expresses why I’m willing to push through. Maybe it will help you with your Lenten fatigue.
A desire fulfilled is sweet to the soul; but to turn away from evil is an abomination to fools. He who walks with wise men becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. Misfortune pursues sinners, but prosperity rewards the righteous. A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children, but the sinner's wealth is laid up for the righteous. The fallow ground of the poor yields much food, but it is swept away through injustice. He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him. The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite, but the belly of the wicked suffers want. Wisdom builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down. He who walks in uprightness fears the LORD, but he who is devious in his ways despises him. The talk of a fool is a rod for his back, but the lips of the wise will preserve them. Where there are no oxen, there is no grain; but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox. A faithful witness does not lie, but a false witness breathes out lies. A scoffer seeks wisdom in vain, but knowledge is easy for a man of understanding. Proverbs 13:19-14:6