Today is the third day of Lent. The third day in my experience is crucial, whether it is an exercise regime, a diet, a New Year resolution, or the chosen discipline of Lent. If we have started well, but of course have not got the routine established yet, this is the day it goes wrong. Countless times over the years it is on the third day that I realise, too late, that I should have read the chapter of the Lent book and have forgotten, or meant to make that special resolution count and have not managed it. It is easy enough after a week, but the third day is the critical one. So, John, take out your Lent book, email and confirm your place on the Lent course*, do what you thought about on Ash Wednesday and don’t let it slip.
Mentioning the Lent course reminds me of the other side of this. It is not too late on the third day to start something that you are only just today getting round to thinking about - e.g. the Lent course - it begins next Tuesday/Wednesday. But it can come in other ways too. Helen and I are having a break from cake in Lent, but there were four pieces left last Tuesday evening, and we confess to having had a piece yesterday and the day before to finish it up. But that’s it now. The third day has completed that extended Shrove Tuesday work - Helen said, “Well it was a very dry cake!” … but never mind, Lent is re-asserted today!