Lent is a time of discovery, a journey of learning about our hearts and souls. Including – and especially – what is in us that shouldn’t be there. What is displeasing to God. Evil. Wrong. Sin.
My Lenten discipline this year ( in case you are reading this for the first time) is to stop complaining. My progress has been mixed at best. But I have learned a great deal about myself. The other discipline I have started is exercise and better eating. And for the first time ever in trying to do so, I have made it a month and made some real if minor progress. But I am also learning some things about myself, my inner life, my assumptions, my blind spots.
One I never really considered is this – I can exercise and feel better and get healthier because I am privileged. I have health insurance that provides pretty comprehensive wellness benefits. I have a job that gives me some flexibility that allows me to make and keep personal fitness appointments. I can afford the monthly membership fee at the Y. I am far from wealthy. But I am something I am not sure I genuinely understood – I am privileged. Blessed. Favored.
And very little – probably none of it – because I am better or special or unique. It has to do with where I was born, the color of my skin, who my parents are. Things I can no more control than my gender or the color of my hair (or the fact that I have less hair than I did!).
I can’t say this is a profound learning – or something I should have known better. But every time I go to the Y and pull myself on to the elliptical or do another set of repetitions, I remember that I can do this because I have privilege and blessing that not every one has. And I am grateful. And I am convicted deeply at how careless and ungrateful I often am about this privilege and this blessing.