Hey, did you hear?
I gave up alcohol for Lent.
Yep. Also, I gave it up for December. And rainy days. And birthdays.
So, also, you know, the rest of the year. And forever. That sort of thing.
So. Moving on.
It’s just a teensy bit possible that I have not really given up anything else for Lent in a long while. Unless, of course, you count last minute trips to Paris, or goat farming or walking gracefully. I totally gave those up ages ago.
You see, I am just so horribly bad at Lent. I do not get A’s in Lent. This bothers me. I would plan something for it, and journal about it, and chirp about it to my so-good-at-doing Lent friends, and then, BAMMO, in about four days I would have totally forgotten.
Maybe I could give up memory for Lent?
I have made my peace with it. Jesus forgave me a long time ago for my inability to half-heartedly give up chocolate for four days. But, Jesus wasn’t done with me on this subject yet. That’s just His way. You have obstacles in life? He is there. But He also says things like, “Here, let me work with you on this… for a really long while…”
Sometimes I just wish He would say, “Here. Let me COMPLETELY FIX THIS THING FOR YOU. ALL DONE! PRESTO WHAMMO!”
It would be so cool, if that were His way. And, I have heard that sometimes it is. For some reason, I never get to have the “presto whammo” version of fixing things with Jesus. I wonder why? Just once, I’d like to get the PRESTO WHAMMO. It would be so cool.
Anyhow, this year Jesus and I had a little talk about Lent. It went like this:
Jesus: No, I am not talking to you in an audible voice. I know some of your readers are gonna think I showed up in your living room, all glowy and talking.
Me: THAT WOULD BE SO COOL WHY DON’T YOU DO THAT?
Jesus: We’ve discussed this before. I think you might get distracted by the glow. I’ll stick with still small voice today, okay?
Jesus: It doesn’t work, the grumpy thing. I’m too holy. Just bounces right off. Let’s talk.
Me: Ok, Lent? I don’t like it? It kinda feels like 40 days of gritting my teeth over not drinking Pepsi, when You fasted for 40 days in a desert with Satan bugging you, and then, AFTER that You went and died for us. I dunno. Pepsie? It seems a bit… underwhelming.
Jesus: Ok, for the readers here who did give up Pepsi, I totally think that’s awesome. She’ll get on track here. Stay with us.
Me: Oh. Yes. Sorry. Sorry, Pepsi people.
Jesus: Look, if you don’t think your fast is legit enough, then why not totally fast for 40 days?
Me: Uh… totally? Like no food? Did you have water? No water? Again, you’re sure? No food??? That’s impossible. I mean, true, YOU’RE JESUS, so YOU could handle it, but…
Jesus: Yes. I am Jesus. But it wasn’t all fun and games for me either. Ok, well let’s dial it down then. I could provide some locusts and honey?
Jesus: So… the Lent thing. It has to be under your control, huh?
Jesus: How about this? How about you add to your life? For 40 days, you study what Lent is about.
Me: Hey. Yea. I like that! I could ADD to my life, for 40 days. You are so SMART, Jesus.
Jesus: I get that a lot. So, you’re not officially fasting, but I’ll take it. Maybe we can think of it as “fasting from distraction and adding focus.” And then, maybe, one day you can really give up chocolate for 40 days and not overthink it so much.
Me: Still doesn’t seem very comparable…
Jesus: LOCUSTS AND HONEY. I WILL SEND THEM. DON’T TEST ME.
Me: OK. Bible Study. Every day, for 40 days. I’m in. Call off the locusts!
So, this year, I found myself mired in some bad habits that had me stuck. And I realized, as one who just SPOKE AT A CONFERENCE ABOUT OVERCOMING BAD HABITS that irony was going to come up and smack me upside the head if I didn’t get my mind right.
So here is my 40 Days of More Lenten Package for you:
- Up at 5:30 am.
- Study the bible
- Eat an egg for breakfast*
* I know. The egg seems totally random, but it matters. I need something to help with my blood sugar. Like, lately, I have found myself eating Frosted Flakes and cheese. If there was a restaurant called Cereal and Cheese, I would be there. Every day. This does not make Momsie’s brain or body happy. And each time I try to make sure I make a protein shake with more than two ingredients, I want to curl up on the floor with coffee and a Ring Ding, and cry. Ingredients are HARD at seven in the morning.
I am allowing myself to run a minimum of one measly mile. If I want to go longer, so be it. I usually do because after one mile I’m all warmed up and singing along with Toby Mac and ready to leap tall buildings in a single bound.
That’s the plan. I’ll keep you posted. If you walk past my house and see a FedEx box labelled LOCUSTS AND HONEY you’ll know.
I’m still hoping that some day Jesus asks me to give up tightrope walking for Lent. I’d be so in.