When you start to climb a mountain, you fill your pack with as much water and food as you can carry, you add a few essentials and set off on your adventure. As the hike progresses you go through different phases—excitement, curiosity, determination, regret, despair, hopefulness, exhaustion, resolve, and finally exuberance. When you complete your hike your pack is almost empty and notably lighter than at the beginning of the day. Lent is like this kind of journey, winding and long and the road ahead is not always clear. But when you go through it and stick with it—all your confessions, prayers, sacrifices, and acts of service mean that you will arrive at Easter morning with a much lighter pack than when you started. Less guilt ridden, less burdened by worries, less doubtful about your faith, and ready for surprise, ready for joy, ready for God. This is the goal for the Christian progressing from Ash Wednesday to Easter morning.
Blessings to you on your Lenten journey.