Today is Fat Tuesday and I'm honestly sitting here feeling kind of fat because I've been very bad about following my own health proclamations from this blog. The past 5 weeks have seen me backing off and choosing unhealth. And to be honest, I haven't wanted to write or post on the blog because I felt like a hypocrite. But today is Fat Tuesday which means tomorrow is Lent...is there any better time to get back on track than today?
Having grown up in a Conservative Baptist home/church environment, I never heard of Fat Tuesday or Lent. It wasn't something we believed in or embraced, therefore I was never exposed to it. And honestly, if I hadn't been listening to the radio today talking about it, I wouldn't even know now that tomorrow is Lent or that Fat Tuesday even existed.
Now I know that fasting is Biblical, and fasting for 40 days was modeled by Jesus. But I'm not convinced that there is a Biblical precedence for Lent. Without researching it right now, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the "church" (i.e. of Rome) created this occasion. Not that this is a bad occasion, I'm just saying it's not something that the Bible mandates.
All that said, I've always found it curious that people give up chocolate or coffee (those are probably the most common ones I've heard of) for 40 days. The true reason for giving up something is to draw you closer to Christ, to shift the time, effort and energy you would normally put into that item into reflecting and meditating upon the Holy One. For the most part I wonder if people know about the reason for Lent and really use that time to prepare for Easter. That's a personal issue between you/them and Jesus. But I want to throw out there that perhaps this Lent you don't give up something but you add something in.
How about UnLenting! Here are some ideas. Add in drinking a glass of water with lemon each morning for 40 days before Easter. Let the bitterness of the drink remind you of the bitterness of Jesus on the cross even as the lemon and water wash toxins from your body...so Jesus washes the sin from us. Add in 1 green smoothie every day for the next 40 days. Add health to your life so that your life might last longer! Add Jesus to your life...add in reading the Bible daily. Or choosing one verse a day to meditate on through the day. Or 5 minutes on your knees in prayer every day for the next 40 days.
If omitting something from your life is supposed to be good for you - imagine how wonderful adding something into your life will be!
Whatever your beliefs are, my prayer for you is that the next 40 days will lead to a healthier you...both physically and spiritually...and I pray that for myself as well.