Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lenten Rant...

I was just thinking that my practice of Lent is going to be very different from what some people think of...okay, most people.

I'm not giving up anything for starters. And...while I'm there...I'm getting a little frustrated reading about people giving up things and calling it fasting. Fasting is giving up food...or sustenance. What these people are actually doing is called abstaining.

I'm not thinking that temporary behavior modification is necessarily the direction I want to go...with giving things up. I'm more interested in personal spiritual reform...changing something...maybe actually doing what I should do even if it causes me discomfort because it's better for me in the long run.

Also, one of the points I was trying to make yesterday was that the practice of these important things...should go beyond the traditional celebratory time. Meditating on Jesus' sacrifice and resurrection should go beyond the 40 days of Lent.

I'd also like to point out that NOTHING you could give up for 40 days (or forever) would even come close to Jesus' SACRIFICE for our SINS! That's where some of my Catholic friends kind of irk me. You're giving up Ranch Doritos, huh? Seriously?? You love
Ranch Doritos so much that you consider it a sacrifice, that you'll need to rely on God to get you through for the next 40 days? Maybe that's why I've not even investigated Lent before. So many people are just making it a mockery and missing the whole point anyway.

I guess it kind of comes down to two things...that you should really be checking all the time...

HONESTY--God, how are things between us?

BALANCE--not attempting to work my way to heaven, and not copping out on doing the good works He's prepared ahead of time for me to do. It's like my anniversary...a time where I get to focus my attentions, devotion, reflect on our past and future, and communicate my feelings to my Loverbrains. God created a relationship with Him...and after man screwed it all up...he restored it through the death of His son, Jesus...

"Lent should be a period of preparation that includes reflection and penance." Okay, I just wrote that and now I'm thinking...the time restriction is a problem. I love some of what I've read about people feeling tempted to eat/do what they'd given up for Lent so use those times to pick up their Bible, read it and pray. Um...hmmmm? Shouldn't I always be putting God's Word first...above anything else....EVERYDAY? I mean, after Lent when you can eat Doritos and drink Diet Coke...and read Fiction...whatever...afterwards...will you still be reading God's Word and praying?

Don't justify giving up something because you need to draw you closer to God because said item X was between you and God. If there is something between you and God...get it right...REPENT...and give it up for EVER...not for ty days!

Sorry for the rant...but I felt I needed to clarify some stuffs...


Barbara H. said...

I have had some of the same problems with Lenten observations. Just giving up one thing for 40 days just to do it doesn't seem like much of a spiritual exercise.

I like the distinction you make between abstaining and fasting.

Anonymous said...

I must be honest. I have never understood the abstaining or fasting. I understand the 40 days of reflection etc.

I like how you talked about honesty and balance. And how we should really be checking these all the time instead of 40 days.