Looking Beyond …

thoughts and deliberations .. a theme is too restrictive

What if it was 36Acts?


clock prague

tick tock goes the clock – this one in Prague

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday came and went this week with an increasingly frustrating nagging going on in my head.  Until then I had been pretty much on target documenting calories, counting steps, ticking off the 40Acts, progressing through my daily podcasts and even getting a few blog posts written.  I confess, that I was probably feeling just a teeny bit smug.

Quite appropriate then, that such pharisaical pride should be called into question as I struggled to get to grips with any of the 40Acts challenges of these days. Resolve faded as I was presented with meal after meal of hearty comfort food, as the cold, rain fell and there was no enticement to step out into the countryside around me, as my fitbit battery died – possibly of shock at the lack of steps it was having to count, and as the internet connection failed to respond despite all the electronic gadgets and paraphernalia I had taken away with me.

I have been reflecting on why it so easy to get demotivated and discouraged after a few days of failure from a task.  After all, there really isn’t anything special about 40 acts of generosity as compared with 36 or 44.  it just conveniently happens to be the number of days in lent (missing out Sundays) and although a number with some symbolic meaning Biblically, scoring 40 out of 40 is a complete misinterpretation of what these challenges are all about.

On Wednesday, we were called upon to look at where our treasure is and perhaps hold it a little lighter.  I suppose my greatest treasure is my home which we have been fortunate enough to be able to call our own, but I haven’t yet felt challenged to give that away!  I’m pretty tight with money really – finding it hard to spend without knowing that there isn’t a better deal around the corner. Then when I do give, I tend to impose conditions – even if not spoken – on how that giving should be received or spent.  So, as I write, I have decided how to tackle Wednesday’s task.  Something precious to me was lent out a while ago and not received back – I am letting go of my resentment, I now consider it no longer my treasure but a gift to that person.  Easy….I feel better already.

Thursday’s task seemed simple enough – to be on time for everything and consider the inconvenience to those who are kept waiting.  I was late twice despite having this at the forefront  of my mind.  Once, just laziness and the other, poor calculation. I am pleased that no inconvenience was caused by either of these occasions but there is clearly more work to be done on this task – my time keeping leaves room for improvement.  Ironically, later that day, as I waited with family through seven hours of a nine hour marathon (it would have been eight if we hadn’t been late!) for an ambulance to arrive for my mother, I spent much of the day experiencing for myself, the ‘tick-tock’ inconvenience of waiting.  Enough time to build up quite a hunger despite all of the solid hearty meals I had eaten over the rest of the week.

And then Friday.  Having spent a chunk of the night and the majority of Friday at the hospital, my engagement with the idea of getting involved with different cultures was definitely lacking….unless you count trying to read the names of hospital staff from badges correctly.

Sometimes the focus just needs to be elsewhere and there is a lesson to be learnt even in that.   It is good to keep a healthy balance between being committed and being flexible in how I use my time.  Ticking boxes is not the primary goal.

Having said that, Fit bit is back in action,  My Fitness Pal is receiving data, I have started the podcast catch up, and will hopefully soon be back on track.  So I had better sign off, otherwise I will be late for my next appointment…


Author: HelenSaying

Dipped a toe in social media - now learning to swim. Otherwise engaged in mid life career change, but this is no crisis. Views all my own and of the moment.

2 thoughts on “What if it was 36Acts?

  1. A really honest reflection here, Helen…I am trying not to get too worked up if I “miss” an Act, or if one doesn’t resonate with me. After all, I don’t think that this is a ticklist of things to do and then it’s finished. The point is to change perceptions -during, and after, Lent…So if you were involved in caring for your mother & didn’t have time to engage in any kind of involvement in cultural diversity that is no “failure”. Just Real Life happening.
    Letting God into the spaces where maybe he wasn’t before: that’s what this is about for me.


    • Yes this is mostly what I was trying to say. I am the kind of person who has been known to write a task already done onto a list, for the pleasure and encouragement of being able to tick it off! Incidentally, I was out with a group of women last night, including several from Zambia, one from Germany, one from USA, one Polish and one currently living in Spain. 🙂


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