I can be super self-critical.
I mean I’ve found half a dozen things I’d like to alter in this photo alone. Am I alone in this? I took the enneagram personality test and recently determined that I am a one. The description of a one is: “The Rational, Idealistic Type: Principled, Purposeful, Self-Controlled, and Perfectionistic.” An instagram friend @livinginthemidst sent me a song by Sleeping At Last for the 1 (even if you know nothing about the enneagram this song is incredible, listen to it!)and the line that resonated with my personality first was “No, I’m not saying perfect exists in this life… But we’ll only know for certain if we try.”
Lent starts tomorrow and I often spend this Fat Tuesday thinking of all the ways I could improve myself over the next 46 days. The list of possible things to give up or change can get pretty long…
But this year I’m wondering if I’ve lost the point of Lent… did Jesus really die just so that I could work harder on being perfect?
Another line in the song that resonates with me every time I hear it is: “‘Cause I’ve spent my whole life searching desperately… to find out that grace requires nothing of me.”
Grace requires nothing of me.
So when I try to be kinder, gentler, more empathetic this Lent… it shouldn’t be because I am constantly trying to pay a debt.
It should be because of love.
After all, that’s why Jesus died for us. Out of magnanimous love.
How will you demonstrate your love for God more during this Lenten season?
And how will you accept the truth that grace and God’s love is freely given to each of us, imperfections and all.
“Grace requires nothing of me.” Like you, I’m a one on the Enneagram. I really wish that I weren’t. When I completed the ISI Practicum: “Giving Witness” at Montserrat Retreat House in Dallas, Fr. Joe Tetlow said to our class, “perfectionism is the sin of sloth.” As I understood him, it means that when we seek perfection we usually avoid those things that we cannot do perfectly (I think).
Thanks for sharing this today. I enjoy your posts so much. I love seeing the kids in their messiness. Your blog helps me in my ministry; i.e., if your stories impact me, then my stories must impact others. And therefore, I move farther along on my journey to avoid the sin of sloth 😉
P.S. Here is a link to this year’s practicum: https://ignatianinstitute.org/giving-witness-practicum-guide-spiritual-exercises-parish-school-church-and-retreat-house