Speculate to Death

I was in the Target checkout line today with my Lenten pre-approved food and a huge cross of ashes on my forehead- this being said, I was preparing myself for an interesting conversation with the cashier.

I knew that today with my very outward symbol of “I’m Catholic” dusted on my forehead I was due for some questions.

Cue the cashier: “Oh is it already Ash Wednesday? I thought that was later in Lent. My friend is Catholic.” Cue more conversation on explaining Ash Wednesday, ashes, fasting, etc. If you would like this explained to you please see here.

Just as I am packing up my bags the cashier asks, “So what are you personally giving up for Lent?” As to which I respond, “Facebook.” Which in turn brings about a mocking and condescending comment/voice inflexion of, “Oh, that must be really hard for you.”

I smiled and said, “Yes, it will be hard.” While walking out of Target today I was pretty mad, my pride was limping behind me…hurt. My thoughts ensued- Wow, this cashier must think I’m addicted to Facebook and that it is going to be so very painful to give it up for 40 whole days. Gosh, and I look like I am 12 and I have a child….I probably look a bit insane.

 The whole drive home I couldn’t get my mind off of what this cashier must have been thinking about me. Seriously for 15 whole minutes I let my mind wander through the negative possibilities.

—- You know that one sin that you do so often that it is hard for you to recognize if you are not really intentional…for me that sin is speculation. Here I was speculating about what this cashier was speculating about me. Speculation leads me to believe the worst about people. It makes me think that people have a horrible intention behind their actions- that their first goal is to hurt me in some way.

Speculation- When hearing what someone is giving up for Lent I am immediately driven to think about the possibilities on why it is so hard for them to give up. I usually come up with the most horrendous reason on why this would be so difficult for them.

I allowed my joy to be stolen today when I opened up the bag of speculation and thought about the worst intentions of this cashier—sure her tone was not friendly but why carry out a comment and think so deeply about it that it hurts your feelings. For me, speculation allows for Satan to play up some lies that he wants me to believe about myself?

I have to constantly remind myself to not think the worst of people’s intentions. Come Holy Spirit. So here is to the Lent that I break this habitual sin of speculation. Please pray for me!

Ashes