I like these boots.
Lent again. And I thought it was Christmas that always snuck up on you.
This year for Lent, I decided to fast from alcohol. A couple of weeks in I started to wonder whose brilliant idea it was to put St. Patrick’s Day smack in the middle of Lent. No biggie, though. Guinness and Tullamore Dew will be there after the Lenten Season. Did you know St. Patrick’s Day originally started as a feast day in the Catholic tradition, honoring the patron saint of Ireland? And that the original color of St. Patrick was blue? You do now.
Growing up (and still) non-Catholic, I didn’t really learn anything about Lent until college at least. I know that several other denominations/sects/etc. also include Lent in their list of observed seasons, but from what I remember, it wasn’t much celebrated at my church…or maybe I simply didn’t pay attention–I’m pretty sure I was A.D.D. as a kiddo. I’ve never even really thought about observing any sort of Lenten fast, although I always looked forward to hot-cross buns and ham on Easter. Funny that we like to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord…who was Jewish…with a pork product. But, “What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.” (Acts 10:15)
Anyway, this year for Lent I am fasting the drink. Of course, the week after I launched into that fast, I read an article all about American Whiskeys and which ones I should buy and how they are so smooth and delicious. But, I love Jesus more than whiskey. Not that a religious observance is how we should demonstrate love of God, but sometimes one flows from the other: ie. I love God, so I’ll give up alcohol for bit. In all honesty, I’ve been neglecting one of the key points of a Biblical-type fast, though: spending time with God.
In six words: I suck at being a Christian. Sure, I can give up this or that and I can talk a good game, but when it comes down to it I’m just not very good at following Christ. What I should be doing is not drinking, and in lieu of drinkin’-time, spending some time in prayer or reading the Bible or something like that…reading a motivational book…something. Instead, I’ve been watching TV. I have impeccable taste in TV, too, so I wouldn’t exactly call it a waste of time…ahem…anyhoo. The fair Jeannie (my lovely wife) has given up during-the-week-TV-watching for Lent, and actually has a bit of discipline. She (most of the time) spends evenings reading and studying and listening to me watch TV. I am not the best influence sometimes, though. Last night we watched Lost off the DVR. I really need to be a better support to her that way, by not adding extra temptation. I would certainly profit giving up some of the Tube for a bit, that’s for sure.
My commitment today is to lead my family in a better direction than what the SyFy channel tells me. At least until Easter.