Nike and Fiat: They don’t exactly seems like brands you would associate with Lent, right? I wouldn’t have thought so either until last week.
During a small group discussion with the teenage girls in Kenosis, we decided upon two slogans that we can keep in mind for our Lenten journeys. Two slogans that don’t quite seem to go together, but I promise they do.
You see, we were discussing how love must be a combination of the objective and the subjective—how feelings cannot outweigh reason in our relationships. A key point we came to (thanks to Dr. Edward Sri) is how discipline helps in the balance of objective versus subjective when it comes to love. As the girls threw out ideas of how different Lenten sacrifices can build discipline, other core team members stepped in to encourage us make sure our Lenten sacrifices hard, but attainable. Just do it!
I got to thinking how I find it easy to make small goals throughout the year, promising myself to “start tomorrow” or “start next Monday” and when that rolls around I don’t hold to the resolution I’ve made. I find all manner of excuses to talk myself out of it or lessen the burden of the bar I’ve set for myself. What is it about Lent that helps me stick to my sacrifices – my goals?
It most certainly is related to tying a spiritual goal to a physical goal. Whether that is giving up the snooze button, leaving the radio off in the car, or giving up snacking between meals, it’s going to take discipline for me to integrate it in my life throughout these 40 days.
So this Lent, one of my slogans will be Nike’s “Just Do It!” Instead of procrastinating the start, I will find a practice and “Just Do It” as a way to help myself build discipline this Lent. Any who knows, maybe those goals will be within reach.
Now I know that Fiat’s slogan isn’t “Let it be done unto me” – that’s Mary’s Fiat. But in my marketing brain, it made sense to connect the Nike slogan and our second phrase to another brand. Mary’s Fiat is not about building more discipline. This phrase is about being receptive.
Part of my prayer last Lent was to have the kind of Lent that God wanted me to have. I didn’t know exactly where I needed work in my life, but by the end of Lent, it became quite clear the work He was doing in me—the wounds He was healing. And while that’s a subject for another day, I learned part of “having a good Lent” is not in me making so many sacrifices that I’m miserable for 40 days. It’s more about me being present to my prayer and being receptive to God’s Love by making space in my life through those sacrifices. If limiting my TV time, adding a daily examination of conscience, or cutting my time on social media simply makes me (and those around me) miserable, I’m missing the point. But if that time or small sacrifice directs my thinking to higher things, I’m guaranteed to have a good Lent. Because it will be a Lent spent with God.
So, I take these two brands, Nike and Fiat, and plan to have them as my focus this Lent. Nike and Fiat – they do go together. One will help build the foundation for love in our lives and the other opens us to it. What brand will your Lent be?