For 2 weeks now, i’ve neglected this blog. My once empty pool of ideas has become a crowded community pool on a hot Saturday afternoon. Outside of a stretched metaphor, that simply means that i’ve got about 10 blog drafts that i keep adding to and revising, but never quite finish.
Why i don’t vote
My attempt at closure
The illusion of tolerance
My love of religion
Why i’ll never own a gun
The world hates fat people
My experience with online dating
But these are each a very lengthy topic and often dig deep beneath my usual superficial ramblings. That makes it too much like “work” right now. I’m looking for “easy”…. as are the men contacting me via match.com.
Today i feel led to share with you my yearly traditions prompted by Lent. This includes:
I do nothing for Lent. Never have. In fact, until i was 15, i was fairly certain people were giving up LINT every year. Growing up Southern Baptist, we are very suspicious of any Catholic ritual. We get really defensive if Jesus is still ON the cross and we don’t want anyone else to know what our sins are…. well, until about the 1980’s when we figured out that having a “prayer partner” was the quickest way to get the goods on someone.
So, my exposure to Lent is pretty limited. I hear people give up caffeine, alcohol, sex, masturbation, chocolate, fast food, and smoking. Hopefully not all at once, because that would suck. I’ve never heard of anyone giving up BEING A DICK. That would be an awesome way to make the most of those 6 weeks. Rick Warren, the guy who made a gazillion dollars writing A Purpose Driven Life, said, “You don’t feel comfortable in something till you’ve done it for six weeks”. This is true. In fact, Mickey Rourke did it for 9 1/2 just to be safe.
It’s not just the liturgically religious who observe Lent these days. Everyone wants to get in on the self-discipline action. Even my most heathen of friends get into it. Maybe it’s because they really want to improve the quality of their lives. Or maybe it’s because everyone loves to be a martyr. Simply flirting with Lent is the lazy man’s martyr. It’s American martyrdom. I won’t need to lay down my life for my faith and that fasting diet seems a little excessive, so i’ll just give up tv for a while… as long as the dvr is working. I really do find the fascination with DELETING something from your life to be intriguing, but strange. Of course, the MOST holy usually have a two-fold Lent objective: Giving up X and dedicating more time to prayer. At least that makes more sense to me.
Ummm… “X” being a generic vice, not, y’know, ecstasy. If you’re waiting until Lent to give up ecstasy, you’re probably going to need some xanax to balance that shit out.
The reason Southern Baptists don’t observe it traditionally is really because we’ve ALREADY given up all the good stuff. We already don’t drink, fornicate, curse, or engage in ribaldry. I use that “we” rather rhetorically. I MAY have taken some liberties there. But my background with the SBC doesn’t come without it’s own traditions. One of them involves wearing a thin white nightshirt or jumper in front of your entire congregation as it clings awkwardly to your body while you climb out of that cold baptismal pool. The other??
Maybe you can’t see the fried chicken at the end. But it’s there. Oh yes, it’s there.
This year, my roots have betrayed me. Changing my habits, as a means of trying to control this recent anxiety, has lined up nicely with Lent. The past month has left me making some life changes that i can only hope will stick. There’s some deletion, some addition, and some various other mathematical words. I’ve been a bit of a downer, but maybe it’ll take that 6 weeks before i’ll get settled in.
I’ll give it 9 1/2 just to be certain.