By Angie Koenig
I really like making to do lists. I love planning out daily tasks, and I really love scheduling out my week hour by hour. I am a woman who has the best intentions, lofty goals and an ambitious spirit. I am also a woman who ignores my to do list, disregards my daily tasks, and completely fails at all the wonderful color coded hourly intentions I came up with merely days (sometimes hours) ago.
I always think that whipping out my highlighters and writing out how I’m going to fix all my flaws will inspire me to be the best version of me. What I often fail to recognize is that even the best laid plans fail in dramatic fashion when becoming the best version of myself doesn’t include working to change my heart first.
We are now two weeks into Lent, and this is often the time where I find myself slipping from the model of perfection that I think my plan for prayer and fasting is going to bring me to. And therein lies my problem – this model of perfection is one that I envision for myself – it isn’t the one that the Lord intends for me. And when I fail, the devil is so quick to tell me how I’m disappointing God. Instead of turning to Jesus, the source of goodness, truth and beauty, all the things that I desire to radiate, I allow the fickle desires of my heart to guide me.
I get so down on myself for not being perfect – for not being able to fast like the Saints, or pray like the Saints, or be kind to others like the Saints. I allow my desire for greatness to turn into an unholy obsession for perfection that is unattainable. Thank God that He is always there to wrap me in His embrace when I allow Him to breakthrough my negative self-talk and speak His truth to me. He is always there to remind me that my name is not John Vianney, and it is not Faustina or Thérèse. I am not called to be any of those people because I was created to be me.
You’ll still find me with my schedules and my highlighters just chomping at the bit to color code, but lately I’ve found I no longer try to design my life to be something more, I strive to design it to be something less; something less of me and more of the Creator, less have to dos and more get to dos.
If your Lenten resolutions are already slipping of the wagon (or if they’ve fallen off ages ago) now is the perfect time to reflect on how to be less, not more, going into the coming weeks. Less worried, less anxious, less focused on self-judgment, less abandoning all hope because you’ve given in to temptation. When we focus less on ourselves and more on our Father, our Savior and our Consoler, His best laid plans suddenly seem so much better than anything we could image.
About the author:
Angie Koenig is a passionate follower of Jesus working her way through life as a Millennial. She is the youngest of nine children and embraces her role as a daughter, sister, aunt and friend. Angie blogs about her love story with Jesus at www.spirituallyspokenfor.com. Currently she resides in Eau Claire, WI where she enjoys anything that involves coffee.