Today marks the beginning of the Lenten Season and for those of us who practice the time has come to make a sacrifice. Sacrifice something that is pleasing in nature and in an effort to get closer to and obtain favor with God. For you non-believers, most see it as a time to drop a few pounds, but hey, whatever gets you there. There’s a multitude of information about Lent, scripture and etc., but one piece in particular stood out to me. One reading references Isaiah 58:1-12 and notes that fasting that does not lead to works of charity does us no good. When I read the full text – my Bible may have different wording but we all get the gist – it talks about performing compassionate acts for others and dealing with others righteously and learning to love and serve them in healthy ways. That fasting should lead to works of charity and we should not hide from relatives who need us. Well imagine my face twisting @confusedfaced – works of charity, I thought fasting was just about me clearing my body from indulgences that tend to distract me focusing on God. Then as I read a little more and applied my over analytical brain, I began to understand that what good does it do to fast, if it is only for my benefit. Well who else is going to benefit from me giving up fast-food, social media, soda, and any of my make it through the day treats besides me? I guess when you stop focusing so much on yourself and what you don’t have or are missing or focusing on all that you do have, it allows you to see the bigger picture. I won’t lie and say Lent isn’t a difficult season for me because it is. I’m not a foodie, I don’t love to eat but I love the things I eat. My eating habits are poor as it is (according to my trainer, I don’t eat enough, don’t eat often enough and at times eat the wrong things at the wrong times) so this journey will be an adventure. Life got busy and hectic for me and I did not have adequate time to plan for today, thus I slipped up and ate meat today, a no no for Ash Wednesday, so I will do penance and have no meat tomorrow and as always Meatless Fridays, but I’ve taken it a step further with the loosening of my vices (ice cream, my nightly Twix bar – don’t know how I’m going to survive without that) but I’m confident I will be successful. As for charitable acts, I think I do more good than the Salvation Army. The giving of my time, money, talents and anything else I have is always demanded and while at times I can become a bit irritated with the requests (I’m only human) the request is still met, so aside from giving the shirt off my back, not sure how much more charitable I can be, but I’m sure this season will be revealing to me.
Tonight when I arrived home and hurricaned through my mail, house cleaning, recycling, bathing, changing of purses, selecting a wardrobe and all that goes with that and the saying of my rosary, I admit, I felt the need for some charity of my own but I did not complain. And I’m not complaining now. I’ve always know I was a giver, I was born that way (Gaga). I hated it when I was younger. My grandparents would make me take extra lunches to school, or help to pay for a kid who couldn’t go on a field trip, stuff like that and they were always helping someone out in the community. They were givers. The givers like you read about in the news, who would help ANYBODY and it really irritated me because nobody was helping me. Sad to say, the same is true today but, I have a better appreciation for my background and how I grew up now. I didn’t grow up with a silver spoon in my mouth but I think it was silver plated of high quality. I had everything I wanted and I had an over abundance of love and now I guess the universe is looking for a return on its investment. To whom much is given, much is required. If the things I’m experiencing now is the requirement for what I was given back then, well some of these celebrities better watch out because when their comeuppance is due the requirement is going to be quite handsome and I hope they are in a position to make due.
I’m not ashamed to say that these next 46 days (Sundays are excluded from the Lenten fast) will find me at various points of my best but my most sincere effort will always be there. My best varies from day to day and all I can hope for is that if I make it to tomorrow, that my best will be better than it was the day before. As I write this to say goodnight, I’m habitually reaching in my drawer for my nightly Twix and alas it is not there so I settle for a piece of sugarless gum and cup of water along with a prayer that right after I post this I fall asleep so I won’t scrounge around the house for my hidden Twix bars. I don’t like much but what I like I like and want. Maybe after 46 days, Twix and I will no longer be close friends, but let’s not get carried away, even close friends get back together.
1 down, 45 to go.