Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Shrove Tuesday

Perhaps it is the pre-Lent funk... I hope it is the pre-Lent funk.

I am irritable. Some sisters are overworked, and as a result, their responsibilities have fallen through the cracks. I am supposed to be compassionate about that. I'm not especially. I am back to making my own to-do lists... as if it will compensate for my lack of compassion. (If I can't be compassionate, I can at least be responsible... what a Pharisee I am.)

I am also sick of picking up the slack. So this morning when the doorbell rang, I ignored it. (Let someone else get it, damn it...) This will just not do. I've been thinking a lot about what Lent will look like for me this year.

I had it in my mind at one point to give asceticism a healthy try. Don't knock it if you haven't tried it sort of thing. I considered giving up not only the required chocolate and ice cream our community's culture imposes, but also alcohol, non-dairy flavored creamer, butter, soft drinks and anything sweet or of the fast food variety... potato chips, pop corn, Taco Bell. I have no doubt that underlying this holy discipline lie some pretty unholy motivations: losing weight, for one.

Giving up sweets motivated by the desire to lose weight doesn't count. I'm not overweight. I'm just not slim anymore. I want to look better, not treat my body as a temple of God. My guess is that nobody's intensions are totally pure. Knowing that mine aren't is a bitch.

So... I've been rethinking the whole Lenten journey. (I was already rethinking it before today, but Shrove Tuesday especially requires a decision.) Tomorrow it starts. I need a plan. More importantly, I need a change of attitude. It's the area of relationships that I need to work on, not denying myself a bunch of foods that aren't especially good for me anyway. To work hard at seeing the face of Christ in every person that ticks me off... now that would be a worthwhile endeavor. The nice thing about living in community, is that my sisters will support me through the process... I won't be doing it alone.

1 comment:

J.T. said...

For this Lent, I've just decided to work on being open to the Spirit and allow the Spirit to work on me. This after countless years of failure working MY agenda.
Thought I'd just let it go and see what happens.

Years ago when I was a disc jockey, someone suggested I give up radio for Lent.