Lent is a time of reflection, specifically a time to examine our limitations, our brokenness, and our failings. Its purpose isn’t to create shame or drive us to depression, but to awaken us to reality, and to the all-encompassing good news of Easter and God’s good grace. An important thought to consider during Lent is our finitude. Our limits. Where we start and where we stop.
Our culture loves the idea of transcending our limitations. It’s really inspirational. Why run 3 miles when you can run 4? Why work until 5pm when you can work to 7pm and get that much more done? Why give 100%, why not give 110%? Pushing ourselves farther than we believe possible can be very helpful. It reminds us that we are capable of more than we normally assume. It allows us to grow and to dream new and bigger dreams. There are boundaries, however, that we cannot overcome.
That’s how much time you get in a day. Not 25 hours, not even 24 hours and 2 minutes. No matter how hard your work or how efficient you are, you are limited to 24 hours each day. Time management skills will only help you do exactly that, manage the time you have. You can’t add minutes to your day.
You may be one of those people who only needs 4 hours of sleep a night. (If so, I’m envious). You may need 7 or 8 hours to avoid looking and sounding like a zombie. Whatever that number is, and research offers a variety of answers concerning that, you can’t forego sleep. Everybody needs it, no exceptions. If you rob yourself consistently enough, you will begin to suffer mental and physical breakdown.
Most everyone has a budget, and we all have financial limits. You may spend all of the money you make and borrow more, but eventually people will stop lending you money. There are limits.
As much as we hate to admit it, we all have limits, the ones mentioned here and many more. Acceptance and appreciation of our limits is a valuable lenten meditation. As much as we hate to hear it, there are things we can’t do. We are finite. God alone is infinite.
Here are some questions to consider during this season of Lent:
Are you trying to be limitless in order to convince yourself that you can control more in life than you can actually control?
How can you limitations improve your relationship with God?
May this Lenten Season strengthen you as it leads you to the unspeakable joy of Easter.