A week ago a friend and I were shopping and she saw some Mardi Gras beads and said, "Oh today is Fat Tuesday." It had been years since I had heard anyone call the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday Fat Tuesday. My mind did not track to the Mardi Gras celebrations, it focus on Lent.
When I was growing up, Lent was a time to give up something. I know I have written about this before, but making a sacrifice during Lent is worth writing about again.
When I was a kid, the nuns at Holy Spirit Grade School had us promise to give up something we liked. Some kids gave up watching T.V., others gave up pop, others gave up candy. I tried to give up school and homework, but that didn't go over too well. So I usually gave up candy. My reward always game on Easter morning. Not only did I get a basket of candy from the Easter Bunny, but if I had kept my Lenten pledge, I always got a special present from my mom and dad.
I asked my sister Mary what she remembered about Lent. She said it was fasting and not eating meat during Lent.
It's been a long, long time since I made any sacrifices or fasted during Lent. Of course I still know why we make sacrifices and fast during Lent. It is to try to be more like Christ. After all, He made the ultimate sacrifice for us. He gave up His life to give us everlasting life.
But, I just haven't been able to tune into the idea of sacrifices and fasting during Lent for a long time, then I got an email from my cousin the other day. It basically had a new twist on Lent, at least the fasting aspect. The powerpoint recommended that we fast not from food, but from questionable habits and spend time in positive ways.
This Lent: fast from anger and hatred – give an extra dose of love to family and friends; fast from judging others – remember, Jesus overlooks our faults; fast from discouragement – Jesus has a perfect plan for our lives; fast from complaining – recall the little moments of joy Jesus has given us; fast from resentment or bitterness – work on forgiving those who have hurt you; fast from spending too much money – reduce spending by 10 percent and give the difference to the poor; and spend extra time on personal prayer.
I realize that saying that I should be fasting from complaining is pretty easy for me. After all, I spent my day today riding in a convertible up to the base of Superstition Mountain with my sister and a good friend. However, it is not so easy to fast from complaining for those of you who are digging out from yet another blizzard.
Page 2 of 2 - The type of fasting shared in the email is the type I think I can do and will help spread the love of Jesus to those that I come in contact with.