Being lazy (sloth) has long qualified as a vice. It doesn’t quite come to the level of sin, but it certainly is a shortcoming that we are encouraged to overcome. Almost all of the driving I do is a direct result of the complementary shortcomings of laziness and poor planning. That’s why I chose to give up my car for Lent
. It has been a surprisingly pleasant experience
.I have to plan my time a little more carefully to allow for walking or biking, but that’s good: time is the most finite of the resources we have. If anything deserves careful stewardship, it is my use of the limited time I have been given. For some people, the time saved by driving makes that the best choice. For me, at this point in my life, walking and biking are better. I benefit immensely from the time I spend walking. It is a time to be alone in my thoughts, to reflect on what I’m reading or writing, which, more often than not, is related directly to the church and the gospel. It is a walking meditation. And when I am walking with my husband or my children, we talk to each other. (We also talk to each other in the car. That is the best part about picking my children up from school–the car conversations. But we spend more time talking when we are walking just because it takes longer. It’s a nice reprieve from the homework and housework and music practice that is waiting for us when we arrive home.)
So not driving my car during this month and half is giving up a little bit of my natural laziness. It’s not going to change the world; it doesn’t even dramatically change my life. But it is making my life a little bit better now, a little more peaceful and introspective. And I am thankful for that.
One of my favorite prayers is the plea of King Lamoni’s father:
O God, Aaron hath told me that there is a God; and if there is a God, and if thou art God, wilt thou make thyself known unto me, and I will give away all my sins to know thee, and that I may be raised from the dead, and be saved at the last day.
I haven’t been holding onto a lot of big sins. I have the usual assortment of smallmindedness, insidious pride, and careless sins of omission. I am full of shortcomings and little idiosyncrasies that I hold onto because they are a part of the self I have constructed, not because they are particularly good or authentic to the true self I would be if I were to be as I am known to God. But I can pick certain shortcomings and give them away, at least for a little time. And as much as I give away, I find myself coming to know God that much more.The crazy part is that, even knowing how much happier I am when I choose to give away a small sin or vice, I still hold so many of them close to me. I don’t know if that is because of the security of habit (even a bad habit is soothing in its regularity), or fear of change or constitutional weakness or complacency.
How you manage to give away your sins? Does it get any easier?