Lent: Martinis Included

Lent started last week (Wednesday to be exact).

I didn’t grow up with Lent as a practice. In fact, several churches I attended as a kid denounced all those kind of things. But, as we’ve established, I’ve had quite the diverse religious journey.

But I’m Episcopalian now and Lent is a thing. (So are pancakes the day before.)

So what have I given up?

Chocolate? Cocktails? Cookies?

No. And not meat either.

Now to be honest, I have tried chocolate before. I lasted a day and a half. I gave up wine one year. It was the most miserable 40 day experience of my life (Lent lasts from Ash Wednesday to Easter).

But- turns out- I was doing it wrong.

Because the sacrifice isn’t meant to make you miserable. It is to draw you closer to God. And closer to understanding his will for you. Closer to the faith you have in him and the faith he has in you. It’s a time of reflection.

As Spring approaches, it is spring cleaning for the soul.

In accordance with this, you can give up something or add something.

(Yes, I know historically, it was different– and still is different in other churches– but this is what my church is doing now.)

Pope Francis urged followers to think of acts of mercy, rather than sacrifice.

So, Little Sir and I are doing that. We are going to Love Thy Neighbors.

Personally, I’m working on the part of being more of the person I believe God created me to be. And even writing that sounds so arrogant.

Oh, please. Is this just some California version of Lent to get out of giving up the martinis? No.

But when I think of the clutter in the way of my faith, in the way of my life–it’s confusion that I struggle with. I get confused about my true purpose and my true identity as opposed to the purpose a whole bunch of other people try to give me (e.g.; family, ex husband, children, media…).

I’m basically in a 40 day boot camp to get clear-headed. Clear enough that God’s will comes through so distinctly, all confusion evaporates from the brightness of it.

~~~

Let me know:

Do you observe Lent?

Did you celebrate Fat Tuesday? (I had a gumbo party.)