Happy Ash Wednesday...or whatever you say to someone today (still haven't figured that one out).
So what am I "doing" for Lent this year?
Well, my husband is REALLY going into the desert this year. He is giving up TV, junk food, meat and sleep (in order to wake up earlier and workout).
I, on the other hand, choose to be a little more vague. My lent this year will consist of no C's...Cookies, cakes, candy, chocolate etc. I am also going to have more "self control". This means that I will try not to argue with Alex, yell at Serena or eat/drink/gossip excessively. It seems like the easy way out, at least to Alex it does. For me though, I feel like this will make me ACTUALLY change my heart. 40 days of hard-core discipline will only make me rush back to it quicker. I admit I am a sinner. I do not think that I will be a brand new person after these 40 days...but I do hope and pray that Lent 2014 will make me a more relaxed and better adjusted person. Sometimes we all just need to simplify our lives.
I came across this article Why I'm Giving Up Giving Up Things this Year when I google searched "Lent". It kind of pissed me off. I feel like I am making the same point as the author of the article, but I agree with people's decisions to really dive deep, like Alex. It's just not for me, at this time in my life. But as this guy scoffs and makes jokes about giving up trivial things, it just comes across as arrogant. He can't be Catholic.
He's just not sure he "see's the value"....are you kidding me? It's just so sad that in our culture, we feel like we are exempt from trying to make ourselves better...more Christ-like.
His joke about "bringing about the kingdom of God by not eating Pop Tarts" is really rude. There are some people out there who probably have a Pop Tart problem. Maybe if more people stopped eating Pop Tarts to make themselves feel better, and in turn, prayed or opened the bible and worked on their faith...then they would be happier and healthier. Like I said, I am giving up the "C" sweets. What do I have to gain by doing that? More self-control. I know I have a problem with sweets. When I see a cupcake I justify why I DESERVE one. People, we don't DESERVE anything. That is what God is trying to tell us...we don't need these earthly desires to bind us...we don't need Pop Tarts to be happy.
If I take a step back and say "No Renee, you don't NEED a fatty delicious cupcake. What you do need is more faith. More trust in God's plan for me". I think I am meant to have more self-control. We all are. We are not animals. We are one big family of beautiful humans...who do not need to eat an abundance of Pop Tarts to be happy.
It seems that the point he is making is that we are not changing the world by these little things. This kind of thinking though, is what makes us feel so defeated all the time. We eat the damn Pop Tarts because we don't realize that each one of us, each "small" thing we do, is affecting our lives and the lives of others. Each moment we have is special to God. It should be special to us. Not eating the Pop Tarts is choosing to control our impulse to indulge is something that we do not need, something that tries to fill the God shaped hole.
I guess I just want to remind myself and others that Lent is important, that the things you choose to give up or add to your life ARE going to bring about the kingdom of God...at least within ourselves. That is a good start.