It's that time in Lent. We're shocked it's coming to a close, yet we're so looking forward to Easter! We're happy with our commitment to some of our resolutions, and a little disappointed with others. We can look back and see moments of great virtue, as well as vice. We're at Heartbreak Hill of the Boston Marathon. We know we're not done yet, but we're longing for even a glimpse of the finish line.
All is not lost. We can't focus too much on the past few weeks because we are still running! We need our energy to stay focused in the present moment. Each day brings new graces for conversion. Each day we can choose for God again. Each day we can recommit to our resolutions. Just as each mile is a new opportunity.
When I ran the Boston Marathon in 2008 and I reached the infamous Heartbreak Hill, I was a little confused. I was expecting to see this large hill and that'd be it. No, Heartbreak Hill is a long, steady, slow incline. You can't see the summit. Mind you, this is after already running 20 miles! This is what we're facing now. We're exhausted, but we know we have to get over this hill. After this hill, we still have 5 miles and change to run. We still have Holy Week. But we'll focus on that when we get there.
Even though we don't want to, we must keep running on Heartbreak Hill. If we slow down too much, we will lose our momentum, our muscles will start to cool down and tighten. We must persevere this week. Don't give up now! You've run more than what you have left to run! A tremendous help on this hill was running with someone at the same pace. He was a complete stranger, but we helped each other keep running. Find a friend this week to help you and hold you accountable! We need one another on our Lenten journey, too.
When you want to throw in the towel this week and just "be done with Lent," remember the first Heartbreak. The Heartbreak of Jesus. Look to Him on the cross - really meditating on His wounds and His Passion. There we will find the strength to keep running.
See you at the top!