So, um… Lent.
What to do with it? It is there, and it seems all around me the past few years, but it isn’t mine. It feels like it needs addressing somehow. As I mentioned last year Lent was never part of my childhood faith. Neither Southern Baptists nor Assembly of God “do” Lent. As a non-theist, I don’t do Lent now. Other than remembering not to eat whatever it was that friends had given up in front of them, Lent has always been irrelevant to my life.
Last year I enjoyed the 40/40/40 challenge when I gave up eating meat for 40 days. Especially for those of us in the developed world, it is good for us to go without something for a time, to focus on how fortunate we are to have all of these luxuries we take for granted. Times of excess and celebration are wonderful, but times of denial are their balance, and I have neglected that side of the equation. Lent seems like it would be a perfect time to be in sync with others doing the same thing, so I thought about it.
But the theology is getting in the way for me. Practicing Lent, for me, would be like admitting than I am an inherently evil person who needs Christ’s bloody sacrifice for salvation, and that I need to try and share, in some small way, with his suffering. That’s not going to work for me. I realize that not all Christians view Lent this way and it is meaningful for many. This is how it feels for me.
Then I saw that the UU Ministry For Earth is continuing the 40/40 for Earth Challenge from April 17 – May 26. I will have to delay my fast another month, but it is good to know I can do it in conjunction with others. Is anyone else out there in blogland planning to participate in this challenge? If you did it last year, what did you get out of it? If you are doing it this year, what kind of fast or change do you intend to make?
I do wish a blessed Ash Wednesday and Lenten period for all those who observe it. May your fast bring you what you seek.