“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” ~ Thomas A. Edison
There is one thing that I have always found a bit intriguing about many dog owners: their obsessive need to teach their dog tricks. And one of the most popular tricks? Roll over and play dead. Did you ever wonder about this or am I the only one?
I think there is something very deep in our human nature that often prompts us to “roll over and play dead.” In other words, we quit way too easily. There is a saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” The reality, on the other hand, is that, for many people, when the going gets tough, they give up and try something else; because, after all, who wants tough?
That could probably be said about many a Catholic’s position in the season of Lent right about now. Yesterday, we celebrated Laetare Sunday. It is a Sunday slightly past the middle of Lent that calls us to rejoice. The reason for doing so is that the Church is quite away that, by this time in the season, there may be many people who are growing tired of their resolutions. They may have begun the season in fine form, promising themselves and God all sorts of things. For a while, it may have been easy and joyful to do what they promised. But now? Now that the season has worn on for four weeks? They are getting tired.
Some might be considering abandoning their Lenten resolutions. Others may have already done so. Thomas Edison would look us in the face and say that giving up is a sure sign of our spiritual weakness. We cannot give up. We need, more than ever, to try “just one more time.” We are all most likely aware of the children’s book, “The Little Engine That Could.” Over and over again, as the engine chugged in an attempt to get up a steep hill, it said to itself, “I think I can, I think I can…”
Perhaps that is the best way to confront our Lenten resolutions. Do not look at the big picture. Do not think about how long the season is. Just look at today, at this very moment, and tell yourself, “I think I can.” You can do your resolution just one more time. And then one more time. And then one more time. Soon, you will be chugging along again, filled with new purpose and a greater dedication.
Do not give up. Give today a new try.
FAITH ACTION: Treating today as if it were the first day in Lent, rededicate yourself to your Lenten resolutions.