I grew up in the Baptist church and, looking back, I don't remember really doing Lent -- but once I became a Methodist (which happened because my kids went to a Mother's Morning Out in a Methodist church around the corner and, eventually, we just said, what the hell, and became Methodists), Lent seemed to be a bigger deal. So, as I sit here with an ash cross on my forehead, I was thinking about what Lent really means. According to dictionary.com, it means:
(in the Christian religion) an annual season of fasting and penitence in preparation for Easter, beginning on Ash Wednesday and lasting 40 weekdays to Easter, observed by Roman Catholic, Anglican, and certain other churches.
Yeah, I guess that about covers it -- it's sort of the gloom and doom before the Resurrection. A time to confess our sins (how long you got?) -- and a time, for many, to give something up during these 40 days. However, I'm not so sure that giving up something is the way to go. What it's supposed to do is make you remember Christ's sacrifice every time you don't eat that piece of chocolate or drink that cup of coffee. I think, for some people, that really works but, if you're like me, it ends up becoming a contest with myself about whether I can or cannot do it -- and all I really end up thinking about is whether I will succeed or fail. And that's really not the point.
In thinking about what to give up, I realize that being unreasonable is, well, unreasonable. If I tried to give up, say, e-mail, I'd be in trouble -- because I use it every day -- that would be a huge sacrifice but one I would probably fail -- and sooner rather than later. So, it really doesn't make sense to give up something which I'd end up feeling guilty about once I lost the battle. And, somewhere in that battle, I'd forget to remember what it was all about in the first place. I know me -- and so does God.
So, when I choose what to discard, it's never anything which sets me up for immediate failure. I've given up white bread (excellent choice), sweets (even more excellent) and, this year, since I haven't had one since yesterday, I'm thinking about giving up carbonated drinks. I can probably do that. Maybe. It's worth a shot.
I hope God has a sense of humor -- I think He does.
I've seen a dachshund walk in the snow. And you know He's just gotta' be laughing at that.
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As an aspiring writer, I blog about whatever happens to move me at the moment -- though some posts contain serious content, my big-picture goal is to bring a little humor into an often humorless world! Welcome, y'all, and make yourself at home! Please make sure you update your bookmarks!
When you are offended at any man's fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger...Epictetus