Saturday, April 16, 2011

Understanding Lent

Or "lint" as I sometimes call it. Hey they sound sort of the same, right?

I digress already.

Up until last year, I thought of Lent as that stupid thing people did to stop doing some habit they shouldn't be doing.

When I was a churchgoer, I regularly did Lent, although I wasn't catholic (and I'm still not).

I never realized that Lent had a purpose besides, like I said before, giving up some habit or something you love dearly until Easter.

Like, one year, I gave up sleeping with my stuffed animal. That was literally the hardest thing to do because I had been sleeping with that particular stuffed animal since I was 9 (I was 17 at the time). And in case anyone cared, after Lent I picked up my habit of sleeping with my stuffed animal and continued to do so until I was 21. Then I traded the stuffed animal for my boyfriend (now husband).

So obviously giving something up for "Lent" didn't do me a whole lot of good huh.

In the last few years I've gotten to know a lady who is catholic, and quite a serious one at that. She came in on Ash Wednesday with ash on her forehead (and does every year).

Last year she explained Lent in a way that completely made sense to me. She said that during Lent you sacrifice something in order to be closer to God. Such as, if you give up facebook for Lent, use the time you would have spent on facebook reading the bible or going to church or some other activity that brings you closer to God. The purpose of Lent is to become closer to God.

It sounds so incredibly simple and yet I had. no. idea.

I found this interesting that I'm nearly 30 years old and I had no idea the true purpose of Lent and what it meant up until last year.  Probably because there's all these "lent posers" who give up something for lent only to look cool or something.

I know that I had absolutely no idea what the hell I was doing when I gave up stuff for Lent. I thought I was just torturing myself for six weeks or so.

So even though I haven't bothered with Lent in years (and don't have any plans to bother with it ever), I now have a better understand of the true purpose behind it.


mac said...

I never did Lent. Lint, is unavoidable, however ;-)

I get it now that you mention it. But, couldn't someone who really loved god do the same thing without all the sacrifice?

I guess I just don't understand god's need for sacrifice. Not just Lent, but God is always wanting sacrifice of one sort or another. Isn't that what Jesus was all about? It all seems rather egotistical to me.

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