Wednesday, March 09, 2011

What The Hell is Lent Anyway?

Remember this? That was the year I was going to blog about being grateful for something every day during Lent. It was pre-Zygote, so I should have been able to get it done. I’m amazed how truly narcissistic I am sometimes – being able to translate "join Jesus” into “the world really wants to hear about my love of America’s Next Top Model EVERY DAY.” Try as I may to be a more spiritually grounded person (whatever that means), the end results are sometimes interesting.

So my go-to-church-but-am-still-questioning-and-have-no-shame-about-some-of-my-bad-vices-like-crappy-tv would simply define Lent as the time when Christian folk start prepping for Holy Week, which leads up to Easter, the BIG deal. Why is it forty days? When Jesus was prepping for his ministry, he spent 40 days in the desert/wilderness. You know the story. He was tested, tempted, could have been a bad guy, but wasn’t. During Lent, people give things up or go to Church more – the idea that doing all this stuff will help them spiritually ‘join’ Jesus. *

I do that every year. Try to give something up. Believe me, it was never an attempt to find and/or refind Jesus. It was either because I was told to as a kid or because it seemed like a nice, relatively acceptable way to explain some sort of behavior change I wanted to do anyway. It’s easier to say that you’re giving up buying clothes for Lent, rather than something like, “yeah, well I’m really concerned about the unsustainable manufacturing practices of big-box clothing retailers and generally despise the corporatization of the world blah blah.” Or "I’m giving up cookies for Lent" as opposed to "OMG HFCS IS KILLING OUR KIDS.”

I have given up cookies, crackers, Diet Coke, meat, swearing, saying mean things about myself, being judgmental about others (ha ha ha, that one was a riot), and shopping among other things. I’m not sure I succeeded in any of them. There are a few things that I would like to try and give up again, like swearing so much (mostly for Zygote’s sake, not because I think God gives a shit). See, there. FAIL. And eating so much crappy food (also mostly for Z2 and because I don’t want to fail my glucose test). Good things, but not really in the spirit.

So I’m not sure what to do. I find this whole God/church thing very hard to write about without sounding like some sort of religious fanatic. I guess what I really want is to spend a few minutes each day away from the chaos to think bigger picture. I have been a ball of anxiety and ick lately, obsessing about everything and generally feeling sick (physically. yay bronchitis!) and unmoored (yay pregnancy!) I want to write and blog and just THINK about the good things, rather than cross items off a giant to-do list. If that gets me “closer to God” than hey, cool, I am open to it, but if it only makes me a little bit nicer of a friend, mom and wife, I can live with that too.

*I actually thought some of these were pretty cool ideas. Mainly, the carbon fast. Giving up alcohol always seems a little too Footloose for me.

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