Saturday, March 04, 2006


In the board game Life, there are three things that everyone has to do: pick a career, buy a house, and get married. Since presumably one might not get around to it, they put in stop signs, so that everyone had to stop and take care of business. Imagine if marriage wasn't manditory, and then you landed (unmarried) on the "Twins!" spot. Hasboro scandal! In life as a person of faith, most of us know that repentence and forgiveness are things offered to us, but a lot of times we don't get around to it until something causes us to stop.

Ash Wednesday is a big red stop sign in the Christian year. It marks the beginning of Lent, which is the time set aside to look over our lives and straighten out our paths. Otherwise we may go on and on without stopping to see how we've strayed away from what God wants for us. We might go on fudging our way through faith struggles and broken relationships.

I spend so much time planning ahead and evaluating the past - especially now with my ministry - that half the time I have to remind myself what day/month it is. The other stop sign in my year is the rose candle we light on the third week of Advent. But at that point Advent is almost over. The great thing about Lent is that in giving something up, I have a constant reminder of what season it is, and of the fact that I am supposed to be seeking God daily. I gave up meat this year. And I love meat. I went to a chinese buffet tonight and I couldn't eat the chicken and broccoli It actually hasn't been too bad so far, but of course its only been 3 days. The point is that every time I think about a McDonalds cheeseburger or a double decker taco from Taco Bell.... give me a moment to drool..... I will be reminded that so many people around the world live on rice, and beans if they're lucky. I will be reminded that what I need comes from God and I am called to give up all the stupid unneeded things that clutter my mind and my apartment and my office and my heart.


Blogger B said...

Welcome to my world! :) I started trying to seriously keep kosher in Butler, PA, which is the geographic equivalent of someone waving bacon in your face. And for some reason they were always having commercials for Arby's bacon, beef & cheddar wrap on TV. (Even though I'm considering cutting out meat, it's much easier to go from eating *less* meat to *no* meat.) I feel your pain, because diet-related things are hard to pull off.

About people subsisting on rice and/or beans, that reminded me of something: I volunteered in Minnesota for Feed My Starving Children, which produces nutritional food packets for starving people. The FMSC staff said people in some African countries were relying on eating "cakes" made with dirt, butter, and water. They're even sold at the markets. (Each FMSC nutritional packet aims to replace one "cake.") So a lot of people subsist on diets much worse than rice/beans. Anyway, that was sobering for me, so... yeah.

Good luck with the Lent thing!

8:42 PM  

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