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10 Things that Show You Don't Get Lent

We didn't all grow up observing Lent. If you didn't learn to celebrate the season as a child, you may just now be learning the importance of it. So here you go: 10 things that show you are off course with this whole Lent thing.

  1. You think Ash Wednesday is kind of like "Downtown after Five," except it's on Wednesday and only once a year.
  2. You decide what to wear to Ash Wednesday service by asking yourself, “Now, what goes with ash gray?”
  3. You ask the minister if the ashes on your forehead can be reinforced with permanent marker since yours always wash off before anyone really sees them.
  4. You keep saying, “What’s the big deal about Lent? Just clean the dryer filter and shut up about it.”
  5. You hire a housekeeper for the season. (All this ashes to ashes and dust to dust stuff will bother your allergies.)
  6. Someone speaks about giving up chocolate for Lent and you, eager to be of assistance, hold out your hand and say, “Well if you’re not going to eat it . . . .”
  7. You, a teetotaler, announce that in honor of the Lenten season, you have given up all alcoholic beverages.
  8. You give up boasting for Lent and make sure everyone knows about it.
  9. You give up sweets for Lent. Except for Fridays when you always have celebratory cheesecake. And Wednesday’s because the desert at church supper is always so yummy. And Tuesdays—Book Club. And in the office (it would just be rude not to partake). And on birthdays. And naturally St. Patrick’s Day. But you’re giving up sweets for Lent. No question.
  10. You have a friend film every time you deny yourself due to Lenten sacrifice. You set the video to the song, “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve seen” and post it on YouTube.

The dearest idol I have known,
Whatever that idol be,
Help me to tear it from thy throne,
and worship only thee…

- William Cowper, “O For a Closer Walk with God”



Thanks and Gripes

As I was driving to church this morning, I found myself wishing that there was such a thing as a steering wheel warmer to go along with the seat warmer. Yep. I'm admitting it: I was once again stymied by a first world dilemma.

It occurred to me (once my hands warmed up enough that my brain kicked in) that I might consider being thankful for my blessings rather than focus on the inconveniences in my life.

"Self," I said to myself, "this would be a great Lenten discipline for you: practice thanksgiving."

"But Self," I whined in reply, (I drug out "self" into two syllables just to make myself get my point.) "Lent has already begun and I'm already behind."

"Self," I said (pronouncing "self" crisply and succinctly so there would be no wiggling out of it before I got it said) "just how long has Lent been going on?"

"Like a week!"


"Well, almost a week."

"Four days."

"So. That means I'm 4 days behind."

"Right. Ummmmm, I'm pretty sure you could go ahead and start being more grateful right now."

"Yeah, but how will I measure my thankfulness?" (I had a point there. Goals really should be measurable.)

"I believe you have a blog, don't you?" (My Self can be very snarky.)

"Fine. I will practice thankfulness through the remainder of Lent and will make a daily blogpost about that thankfulness."

"That's a good Self!"

"Thank you. You're not so bad Yourself. (Or should that be 'Myself?')"

"I'm welcome."

(Today, Sunday February 17, I'm thankful for First Baptist Church of Marion: my other home church.)