What the Americans gave up for Lent (and what I didn't give up!)
I often get tired of the biblical story of the Prodigal Son. I mean, we know the younger son goes off. Is reckless. Wishes he could eat the pigs food. No one offers him. He goes home. His father kills a cow. Gives him a ring. Elder son becomes jealous.
I feel sometimes that I know all the lessons in that parable. And maybe I do. Or maybe there's more. You'll see what I think below.
Some Orthodox churches use a missal on Sundays. Such that the readings from the bible are already printed in. So last Sunday, I opened up the page for '4th Sunday of Lent' and realised the 'reader' wasn’t reading what I had in my book.
So I went back, to '3rd Sunday of Lent' and still it didn't tally. Clearly certain that she was reading from a wrong day, I handed the missal to Tee.
He opened up '5th Sunday of Lent' and Ta-Dah. Correct readings.
I think I may have gasped. How could it be Fifth Sunday of Lent already? I think I may have gasped again when the priest said 'So next week is Palm Sunday'. Palm Sunday!
But where did Lent go? I did not even give up anything for Lent. I mean Tee (and a host of other people) gave up alcohol, so I'm sure they are counting the days to Easter eagerly. It's so weird watching him watch Arsenal's match with a cup of green Tea. Haha. In place of a bottle of beer.
I used to look forward to Lent. To the physical giving up of something and/or physical discipline. Because I really believe that physical discipline leads to spiritual discipline. So giving up Instagram last year, did me some good and I'll often think of my spiritual goals when I got tempted to log into the app. (Does it count if I still often checked Tee's Instagram... It probably does count, because all that's on his page is Arsenal which was of no interest to me. How may Arsenal pages can one follow please?)
This year I thought that with the whole blog launch thing, I needed my Instagram account to let people know there's a new post. To be honest, I could have done without it. People only care for Holiday, Food, Bae and Fashion pictures on the 'Gram.
I guess I shouldn't really feel too bad. Instagram was probably not what I needed to give up. Last year, it must have been. Because just seeing some people's photos may have made me feel less of myself.
During Lent, I also used to look forward to attending the 'Stations of the Cross' on Wednesdays and Fridays. The constant kneelings were painful. But recalling the story of Jesus' sufferings and death didn’t dare give you the liberty to complain about kneeling. This year? Not even once. *sad smiley*
Back to my prodigal son story - Couple of weeks ago, we heard this parable at church. But this time, it spoke to me. The younger son realised himself and got up. He made the first move. That's all I needed to hear. The first move.
So even though 40 days of Lent is almost over… I guess I can still make my first move.
All I really want to do is spend some time with my bible every single day. I check my blog every single day. So surely I can do this. Every time I check my blog, I hope it reminds me to check my bible. I've got it on my phone, so no excuses.
And I've taken the first step. Getting a journal.
Do you acknowledge Lent? Did you give up anything? How did that go? Are you generally trying to improve your faith? Journalling might help.
- According to Google and Time Magazine, the below shows what Americans (according to their states) gave up for Lent this year. Do you fall into any of that?
- I can understand social media, but giving up the internet?? Shout out to the good people of Delaware. Fear and Self-criticism are also really good ones.
- Most of it is food and drink. I should have done this and forget about my monthly gym payments.
- You can read the full article here.
pS: In other news, it's almost Easter. Woohooo! Yes to two work-free days.. Oh Bummer, the Americans don't have Easter Monday as a work free day... Anyway, have you got any plans?