Thursday, 22 February 2007

Lent Is Upon Us . . . Again

Don’t worry, calm down people. I’m not going to get all ‘preachy’ on you all . . . I’m just going to provide you will a little bit of insight as to why and how I am observing the period of Lent, and what I aim to achieve by doing so. So relax . . . I know God (and religion) scares a lot of people; I’m scared too, but for different reasons.

A brief explanation of Lent for those of you who don’t know or aren’t too sure. It started yesterday (21st of February) by the way.

Lent last 40 days and is a reflective period for Christians as it represents Jesus’ time in the desert where he fasted for 40 days AND nights (being tempted by the Devil). Lent is also the build up to Easter, the Christian season which celebrates the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. That’s as basic as it gets.

In an attempt at emulating Jesus, Christians give up certain things they love for this period as a means of sacrifice and self denial. Not many people fast for 40 days (and nights) in this period because of health reasons. My parents observe the fast for its entire duration but break their fast at 6pm daily. This way they don’t end up in hospital and they can still enjoy their favourite foods; just not as often. When I do fast it’s usually for a week at most and I’ll break my fast at 3pm each day. I have fasted till 6pm before but almost cried out of hunger and despair. Even when I fast till 3pm it’s a struggle. Most people who know me personally know that food is a weakness of mine (like an addiction) . . . I’ll pretty much eat anything edible, not fussy at all. Dead or alive.

Giving up food is on my list of ‘things to do during lent’, and will probably be the most challenging. Lord, help me!

In addition to starving myself daily for a couple of weeks during this period I will also challenge myself to complete a book I should have finished already (last year in fact). The book is written by Rick Warren and is titled ‘The Purpose Driven Life’. The idea is to read a chapter a day for 40 days (yup 40 day’s ties in perfectly with Lent) with the hope of coming more enlightened about God’s purpose for my life. Sounds good init? In 40 days time I may be a whole new person. Do I even want to be? I’m kind of hoping that God understands my part-time Christian lifestyle/mentality . . . I foolishly embrace it and label it as ‘spiritual immaturity’. They way we console ourselves; it’s such a shame.

I go through patches where my intentions are to do things by the book (The Bible). However, it doesn’t take too much for me to wander back to ‘my desires’. At times the burdens of life become too much for me to carry (or i can't be bothered to carry them); I should ask God for help (and I do), but when the answers don’t come quickly, I drop my worries and burdens in exchange for sin. It’s so easy to sin, and it usually feels great too.

So the plan is to look at lent as a means of focusing me life towards Godly things and away from ungodly things. This is going to be very hard indeed . . .

. . . Thinking about it now, I don’t think reading a book and fasting for 14 days (at 7days a time) will be enough. Especially taking into consideration that I may likely stuff my face from 3pm till bed time, and I’m also currently reading a book by Tom Sykes (titled What Did I Do Last Night) about his life and how alcohol and drugs affected it. Let’s hope the ending is filled with good morals and not a giant conclusion which paraphrases Eminem’s lyric “you only live once, you might as well die now”.

A to the . . .

7 comments:

SuZ said...

please reply!!! lent, according my calender starts next wednesday... how do i achieve it if i have unknowingly failed alredy...

SuZ said...

dude, you are so on my page write nowin life its actually ubelieveble... sorry another random comment...

Ak-Man said...

Well, I've been told i started Lent of the Catholic day (wed) . . . everyone else will be starting on Monday . . . so you havent missed anything . . . unless your Catholic of course, are u?

SuZ said...

i start next wednesday (ash wednesday)... thats exactky 40 days n nights til eater monday... OH MY SOUL..revelation! ash wednesday was on the 21st and it goes til palm sunday (which mon a week before easter)... my brain just farted! well even tho i got the dates wrong for the past couple years, i still believe it a worthy fast. and up til i read ur explanation of blog i didnt know it was a complete fast. i give things up that i dont seem to be able tp do without and fast for the entire time... dunno if that right, i was prob miseducated...

Ak-Man said...

Seems to me like you aint doing anything wrong! The dates are always confusing . . . Catholics dont fast on Sundays so their Lent period starts earlier. You dont have to do a complete fast, relax. Maybe some you'll be up 4 dat challenge.

Its all about self denial and self improvement. Jesus came out of the desert different from how he went in. I guess we should use this time to also improve on ourselves.

SuZ said...

cool. thanks man =)
enjoy..
luv SuZ

Mr DT said...

Ak-Man. It's DT here. Thanks for visiting my blog (Planet DT) & posting a comment.

I had a look at your blog, & I am very impressed! Our church did the Purpose Driven Life a couple of years ago. A lot of people were challenged. Honestly, I forgot a lot of the things in that book! But it's a good book, & maybe I should revisit one day!

Peace.