“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” ~ Walt Disney
When I was young, I had a couple of fears. Most especially, I was afraid of the dark and I was afraid of heights. Thankfully, except for extreme conditions, those fears do not bother me any more. I remember in high school, though, that the fear of heights was wreaking havoc on my physical education grade. In the nine weeks that we were in the gym, my grade was bad because I would not — I could not — climb the rope. I watched my classmates go up and down the rope. I understood the concept of crossing the feet to hold firm and I could do it. However, I could not leave the floor. My fear was so extreme back then that standing on a step stool was a horrifying experience.
When the next nine weeks arrived, we found ourselves in the pool. Oh joy! I loved the water. I could swim like a fish. I loved staying on the surface and going deep. I could retrieve bricks from the bottom of the pool in the “deep end”. No problem. However, there was also a segment on diving. Those boards are high. It took a lot of time to coax me on the lower of the diving boards. I listened to the instructions of my teacher on how to hold my arms, bend at the waist, and the like. I could duplicate all of that standing on the floor. However, to climb the diving board and to stand at the end looking down was petrifying. Finally, I heard the words, “Yadron, dive or you’re going to fail this nine weeks.”
Sometimes, you have to begin doing. I performed my dive. It worked. As I sliced into the water, I was filled with exhilaration, so much, as a matter of fact, that I decided to attempt the high dive. That was too high for me and as I went off the board, I froze and, instead of forming the diving position, ended up smacking the water in a gloriously painful belly flop.
Life is about learning and doing as well as doing and learning. Life is not all talk. Talk is cheap. After the talk, doing has to take place. Lent is no different. We could talk Lent until we are blue in the face. We could talk about the many ways to honor the season. We could talk about making sacrifices. We could talk about performing works of mercy. We could talk about praying more or praying differently. We could talk about Stations of the Cross. We could talk and talk and talk. However, if all we do is talk, Lent will come and go and we will not be different.
Tomorrow begins another season of Lent. It is a day to quit talking about what we should do and begin to do it. Today might be a good day to consider what Lent is all about and to come up with concrete ideas that you can employ during Lent. Don’t talk about it this year. Do it.
FAITH ACTION: Make a plan for how you are going to use the season of Lent to the fullest extent possible.