First Sunday Of Lent

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Jack was manager of his department which was a great attribute to the company. It always met or exceeded its goals in a timely fashion.
But there was one problem: Jack was not the easiest person to work with/for. He was arrogant, talked down to his staff, refused to listen to ideas/suggestions. It was “his way or the highway!”
One day as he approached two of his staff, his body language announced: “Here we go again” to the two women. He opened his mouth with a criticism, stopped mid sentence, said audibly more to himself than the girls: “No, it’s Lent.
I’ve got to change!” He took a deep breath, changed his tone and calmly explained what he wanted them to do. No one could say that the change happened overnight. Several times over the next few weeks, his dealings with his staff began with a deep breath and occasionally, but less and less, the old Jack reappeared.
But the employees noted the change. He listened more, accepted new ideas and suggestions. He accepted them as part of the team! He was a changed person!
I tell you this story because it’s true. It actually happened at work over 20 years ago, but I think about it every Lent. I think about it, too, just about every time I see “Jack” in the hall and we exchange smiles and greetings! (I have used some “poetic license” to maintain confidentiality.)
I haven’t forgotten it because I think it is one of the greatest Lenten stories I’ve heard, much less experienced. It is a witness to what Lent should be all about: CHANGE to make our lives become more like Christ!
I think if we truly examine our conscience, everyone of us has a flaw, a bad habit, if not a downright sinful action that we need to change. Even secular literature tells us that a habit cannot be changed or developed in a day—that it takes time. We have 6 weeks in front of us to make that change.
The other Lenten activity that many of us can work on and for me is just as difficult as changing a bad habit is to carve out a few minutes each day and commit the time to Jesus—just to BE with Him. In fact, I think that we need to have that time with Jesus to have the courage to change the bad habits that we want to change. As Sean Clive says in one of his songs: “I knew that I couldn’t get through this alone—so I ask you, Lord…” and in the last verse: “You knew I’d never make it on my own, so you stayed with me, Lord…”
May you have a joyful and productive Lent!

Linda Caminiti