For most of my adult life, I have been a morning person. So getting up to be at work by 8 a.m. isn’t a big deal. When you haven’t been sleeping well, however, getting up for a 7 a.m. ashes service can be a struggle. I won’t lie, when the alarm went off yesterday around 5:30…there was a definite temptation to go back to bed. Then I remembered my hectic schedule and how this was the most convenient time to attend the service…and more importantly, that I needed to start off the season of Lent on a good note. I parked my car and ended up seeing two friends from softball. I hugged one as he went off to work and then sat with his wife for mass. What’s that expression about things happening for a reason? Yep, really works. Fr. Thomas Boyer of St. Mark the Evangelist has a great way of getting to the heart of the matter in his homilies. He has that ability to make one zone right in on what he is saying. You don’t get distracted when you listen to him. At the end of his homily yesterday, he brought up how so many of today’s television ads revolve around pills that promise a quick fix to a problem. I’ll paraphrase here but I remember him saying something like this: “All we see today are ads for pills for some disease or disorder. I want you all to take a daily dose of GFH during Lent. Gratitude, Forgiveness and Humor.” He had referenced each of these earlier in his talk and noted how important each of these are to our daily lives. Gratitude…being thankful for everything you have and all the blessings you’ve been given. Forgiveness….forgiving yourself and others. It is what Jesus would do. Last, but certainly not least, Humor…being able to laugh every day will not only keep your sanity but also help you keep perspective. If you can’t learn to laugh at yourself or things that happen, you’ll end up being negative.
As I write this, it is day 2 of Lent. I have decided to give up guilt for Lent. I want to leave the past in the past. I can’t change mistakes I’ve made, things I’ve said or the way I’ve acted. I have taken the time to admit my mistakes, asked for forgiveness of those involved…..the next step is to move on and try not to repeat the same actions. Letting the guilt reside in me will do no good, only harm. This Lent, I am asking that God help me get rid of the guilt and make smarter, healthier decisions.
So, as I conclude, I want to share my GFH for the day: I am grateful for the people in my life, I will work toward forgiving myself and I will definitely keep laughing at goofy things I’ve done or with others. Life is way too short not to find the humor. I love making others laugh and look forward to incorporating that into this Lenten season.
So what are you waiting for….have you had your dose of GFH today?
Armed with GFH in Norman