#FAIL: Reflections on Week 2 of Lent

Well, I am sure the title gives away the dramatic conclusion of this post, but this week was a fail.
Nevertheless let me take you to the top of this week. It began with a greater focus on family time and I was loving it. After my last post I spent the majority of the next few days kicking it with my fam as I prepped to spend a few days down in South Carolina at NewSpring Church for a Leadership Intensive.

Everything was going really awesome until I hit the circle tables at this awesome conference. This was not the normal, auditorium seating, one speaker after another conference. This was an intimate 50 person, 2 day coaching session with Perry Noble.  What this meant was for a social media junkie and a leadership quote sharer, it was like giving up sweets and then sitting down at Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.

I WAS STRUGGLING, ya’ll!

I made it through day one without breaking and was so proud of myself. I jotted down so many great quotes and perfect tweetable phrases, but not to be able to share them was killing me. When we arrived back at the hotel I stared at the awesome selfies sitting in my phone, so unused. I reflected on the great leaders I met that I wasn’t connecting with online as well. That turned out to be the one that broke the dam. I at my core am social with a passion for connecting with more and more folks. I decided to at least get on Twitter and follow the two leaders who sat with us at our table at Newspring.

That began a diving into the tweets of others at the conference, hashtagging, #NSLeadership15 and then recognizing more leaders to follow that I had met as well. Then a desire to join the twitter convo about all that we shared. I was shocked that there were not more tweets from the group, and then began to justify with how I could be blessing folks with some of the great quotes I heard. Eventually I ended up posting a couple conversational tweets with folks before I was convicted for breaking my fast.

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The following day at the table with the team and the NewSpring leaders I confessed to it all and that was freeing as I struggled sleeping that night, probably due to allowing shame to mess with me.

That is the most interesting part of failing. It tends to have a ripple effect. Failing for me often does not feel like an isolated event but an invitation to a series of mistakes. I am a feast or famine type guy and when I’ve failed it can easily lead to more failure. Shame and guilt tend to keep me out of the light and in the place where failure thrives. Sitting at that table with my fellow Torch Church leaders and new friends from NewSpring, I was tempted to just call the fast quits for the rest of the conference. The reality no one at that table knew that I was committing to be less plugged in online. I was home free. However, in that moment I felt God calling me to confess, though it was not a sin, it was a failure and it needed to be exposed so I could get up and go back in the direction I had determined to go.

Check it. Lent is going to be a trial. It is going to be difficult if done right.

My daughter recognizes this. During this, her first season of observing Lent, she has faced a few times where she has failed her commitment. But without provocation she admits the failure and then decides to get back in the fight. She wrote a bit about it last week.

We can all follow that lead. Failure doesn’t have to take us down, at least not for long. Failure IS AN EVENT. It is not an identity. It doesn’t have to be the breaking of a dam of tragedy. It can simply be a different kind of invitation…an invitation to press into the Lord, to dive deeper into His pool of grace. If failure feels like a breaking of a dam, then God’s grace is the flood.

As I move into the next stage of Lent I do so with renewed strength, knowing though I will not follow perfectly God leads perfectly and I am growing as I am going. God’s grace is my new wind and I’m ready to #SAIL.

Are you journeying through Lent this season? I am sure it can’t be easy. I’d love to hear about it. Comment below or even add your post to this week’s link-up in the next couple of days.

If wanting to join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook, post with #AdventuresInLent. This is the one area of social media interaction that I have allowed myself. It would be nice to take advantage of it and connect with you there!

This post is part of a series called Adventures In Lent, co-hosted by Happy Thorp at SimpleFelicity.net.  

 

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5 responses to “#FAIL: Reflections on Week 2 of Lent

  1. Oh man, Arman. I am RIGHT there with you. I don’t think there has been a day yet, that I haven’t at least CHECKED FB for Social Media. I was so proud of myself that I didn’t post, though, and then, this week, I DID. And I justified it by it being about social media in our Torch Community page.
    I’m still glad I posted what I did, but I’m not proud that I scrolled through FB and read a ton of posts as well as “liked” and commented on a bunch of stuff.
    Thank you for sharing, Bud!

  2. & BTW, The New Spring Leadership Conference looked awesome!!! Can’t wait to hear more!!!

  3. “It was like giving up sweets and then sitting down at Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.” – LOL. I can only imagine!!

    Your post actually reminded me of a picture I posted a few years ago: http://afundamentalshift.blogspot.com/2011/03/flunking-lent.html – and here’s why: http://afundamentalshift.blogspot.com/2011/03/lenten-journeys-grace.html

    I’m so proud of the way you’re trying to honor the Lord, and learning to lean into grace when you fail.
    Also #FAIL -> #SAIL? Nice. 😉

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