Saturday, March 26, 2011

What I gave up for Lent

Nothing.  Nada.   Zilch.

I had a good run.

From the time I was in high school, I looked forward to Lent.

I used to give up all kinds of stuff. 

By the time I got to college, it was a no-holds-barred self-improvement mission, all in the name of religion.

I'd give up everything that was bad for me.  Candy, dessert, soda, coffee.

I'd make promises to myself about working out at the gym so many days a week and stick to it.

Most years, I'd keep trucking long after the 40 days had come and gone.

Which, in some ways, is the entire point of Lent anyway.  To remove the bad influences from your life in an effort to get closer to the sacrifices Jesus made.

Then eleven years ago I had a really bad run.  A whole lot of bad things happened in the first two months of the year, and I lost any and all motivation I had for bothering with Lent.

Plus, I was angry with God.

Not a whole lot has changed since then, except I am infinitely more busy and distracted, and have even more reasons to be angry with the big guy. 

I don't really have the anger anymore though.  I have plenty of reasons, that's for sure.  The hills and valleys in my life have not been small and insignificant.

I learned to accept and try not to question things too much a long time ago though.  Not worth the effort, and eventually it will all make sense anyway.  Even the stuff that seems to have no feasible explanation.  All part of some plan that we never get to peek at the blueprint for.

Nevertheless, I made a conscious choice to skip Lent this year.  The last ten years since that really crappy year eleven years ago,  I may not have given too many things up, but there would always be something.  One or two things that I'd half-heartedly try to forgo.  I'd stick to the no meat on Fridays rule as long as I remembered, refuse to beat myself up with Catholic guilt if I forgot.

I don't think God cares if you like steak.  Just sayin.

Then this year showed up, and much like last year, there was stuff going on to distract me entirely from the start of Lent.  Ash Wednesday came and went without any notice from me at all.

Then, through the wonder of Facebook, it occurred to me that it was Lent.  People posting what they were giving up. 

Me?  Nah.

I'm gonna take a pass this year.  I gave up Lent us this time around.

I've lost enough this year.

I'm not giving up anything voluntarily right now.

1 comment:

  1. Actually, Kelly, you are already living your Lent, so there is nothing to "give up" as you said. And it is a fallacy that Catholics need to "give up" something for Lent. We need to do something that unites us more closely with Jesus so that we can celebrate Easter better (for lack of a "better" word) and live a healthier Christian life afterward. I did not give up anything for Lent this year or last. I have constant migraine headaches. This is my Lent. What I try to do is live in union with Jesus' suffering, though I try to do this all year long. I, also, attempt to be more patient with others and myself, even though I am really irritable and in a lot of pain. I fail many times a day but I am trying and that is what God is looking at-my heart. This year I get to add a newborn baby, living with my crazy family and my husband still without a job after graduating with his MA and 7000 (yeah 7000) job apps. We are in huge debt and have no money accept what I receive from the state, very little. This is my Lent. It is already done for me. I just need to go with it.

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