Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent – for some, a season of sacrifice leading up to Easter. Traditionally speaking, it’s a 40-day opportunity to ditch the distractions that keep us from achieving our life’s purpose, to get rid of the obstacles that stand between us and our best selves.
But a friend of mine (hi, Linda!) just announced that she’s giving up Lent itself this year – at least in its traditional form. “Instead of thinking about what I should give up,” she explained, “I’m making a list of things to which I’m willing to commit.”
I like this approach: it’s all about adding to, not subtracting from life. So next to my computer, I’ve posted my favorite quotation, as inspiration for Lent and for writing — and for all of my life.
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffective. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of things issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.
Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”