Dang that Pastor. The longer I am around him, the more stuff he teaches me, and even worse - he makes me think. Shhhhhh! Don't tell him!
You know what that amounts to? One un-funny blog.
I typically (try to) give up something for (most of) Lent. I'm usually pretty successful at denying myself one of my petty indulgences.
I've given up nail polish and cursing and shopping and cupcakes in the past. How sad is it, that a person would consume so many cupcakes, something that used to be reserved for elementary school birthday parties, that it would actually be sacrificial to not eat them?
This year, I decided to tackle Lent on a week by week basis. The first week I gave up sugar.
Wow. Turns out I have a lot of sugar. If you think that as a result of my Lenten sacrifice that I lost a bunch of weight, well you would be wrong. Because as I was going through sugar detox, did I pray and reflect and contemplate? No, I ate a bunch of other junk instead. Tortilla chips anyone?
What did I learn? I need to have a lot less sugar in my diet. I need to cut it out, a little at a time - not cold turkey.
What a stupid thing to learn during Lent.
Moving on. Week two, I decided to turn off the t.v. A quick historical background. The first couple of years we were married, we didn't have cable. Then we got cable. Then we got the dvr. Then we became the biggest tv whores on the planet and never looked back.
The Pastor was busy a couple of nights and left me home alone with the kiddos. I didn't turn the tv on, and you know what? Not one of them asked to watch a thing. We all hung out in the living room. Doing our own things. It was quiet. And no one needs to panic! All that stuff we didn't watch, waited for us on the dvr. People got voted off American Idol, someone on 16 and Pregnant realized their boyfriend wasn't going to change, and our lives were not severely impacted.
How lame is it to think that I - someone who's biggest accomplishment for the month of February was not wearing the same thing twice - could really give up anything in a sacrificing way? Would it really mater in my life if I gave up coffee or tortilla chips? Baristas, waitresses, waiters and salespeople know me. I have probably have 90 pairs of underpants, a dozen tubes of mascara, dozens of lipsticks and a dozen coach bags. My life is superficial and meaningless and unimportant - even if I do look nice while I'm doing it.
I can remember the things that I gave up in the past, all the cupcakes and the shoes I did without, the things that I denied myself, but I cannot remember a single solitary thing I did for another human being. I can't remember a single thing that I learned or said or did that actually mattered.
As I move forward with the rest of Lent, I don't plan to give anything else up - I am giving of myself. I hope that I will write a part two and tell about that. More importantly, I just hope that I do it, and remember it in Lents to come.