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Thursday, March 10, 2011

no coke for a greater Cause

I’m trying to be more consistent in my blogging life; so far I’m not doing as well as I would like but far better than in the past! Take my Mom’s birthday for example. Her birthday was last week and I had every intention of writing a post celebrating her. As part of said post I was going to write about the beautiful T-Shirt quilt that she is making me. But the quilt wasn’t done by her birthday so I decided to wait until the quilt was at final completion. And now here we are, 6 days later and I have yet to write A THING. I would blame it on the quilt but that’s just one more excuse. See?! It’s definitely something I need to work on.

I am also trying to do better at preparing for things in advance as opposed to the after-party that I am a champion at hosting. I feel like I spend so much of my time looking forward to things to come and looking back at things that I wish I had had time to do that I either forget to or don’t have time to live in the present. It’s like my head is off in day-dream land while my feet are trudging through swamp muck. Whoo, sounds like a lot of self -improvement work needs to be had.

While we’re on the topic, we have just recently entered the season of Lent (I’m a day behind, I know!!! Ha!) Growing up, I truly believed that Lent was the Cure-All, Catholic Diet Plan. How could I have known any better? I grew up in the very Catholic influenced state of Louisiana, the only state that is organized into Parrish's! Our church did not practice Lent (at least not that I am aware of) and all of my friends on the playground would talk about the chocolate or candy that their moms gave up because they wanted to lose weight. I practiced parts of it, though, as the hot lunches served in the cafeteria on Friday’s did not contain meat during the 40 days of Lent.

I remember the first time I heard about Lent in it’s Christian context and what it really means. I was blown away. It was Fat Tuesday 2003, a day of several firsts for me. For the first time in my life I did not have a week’s vacation for Mardi Gras. While many of my Mardi Gras vacations were spent in Alabama, it was either at the beach or my Grandparents’, never for school. This time I was in school; classes were not canceled so that we could party and dance in the streets. And not only was I in school, but I was in a church pew for the University’s bi-weekly Convocation service. It was in that chapel that I first heard and understood what Lent is really all about.

I am embarrassed to admit it, but when I saw that the topic/theme of the day’s service was on Lent I thought to myself, “Um, I thought this was a Christian University, a BAPTIST University!? What are they doing preaching to us about Lent?!” In the 45 minutes that followed I learned that Lent was not, in fact, the Yoda of all diet plans, but a Christian tradition and practice that is meant to glorify God. The sole purpose of giving something up for Lent is not to punish one’s self from something that we love to eat or do but to turn to God to for strength and endurance through prayer and time spent with Him. Bottom line: He wants and deserves more time from us and fasting from something is a good way to accomplish this.

I have given up Diet Coke/Coke 0. I drink waaaaaaay too much of it. And I’ll tell you, yesterday, I really, really wanted one (I dare say I thought I needed one). Instead of giving in, I poured myself a huge glass of ice water and got out my Bible for a quick Word (it was lunch time!) and spent some time in prayer. And would you know that after all that, a good start for Ash Wednesday, I stopped at Chick-Fil-A for dinner and without even thinking, ordered my meal with a Coke 0. Ugh. I also noticed that my lunch bag is holding a can of Coke 0 as I type. We are such creatures of habit. (I didn’t drink it, so put your pointing, nagging finger away, please!) I was able to resist and repeat from yesterday what I plan to become my lunch time ritual from here on out.

What are you willing to give up for the glory of Christ?

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