I was listening to local radio and this morning they had a “thought for the day” segment orated by a parish vicar. Unsurprisingly he was talking about the oncoming of Lent as today is Shrove Tuesday (which as we all know is Pancake
Yay – sorry Day). Like many people who may have dabbled with the idea, I thought that Lent was 40 days of misery that involved giving up your favourite thing as to allow you to become closer to Christ and then celebrate that feat by then gorging on chocolate until you are sick.
This is one of many popular myths. Firstly I am not a Catholic nor am I a hard core Orthodox Christian – so my commitment to any form of abstinence is difficult – it is not religious doctrine or duty that makes me comply, just the sense of “doing the right thing” and in a world crammed full of temptation that can too easily waiver. So, firstly, I can not give up anything and feel OK about it. No little black mark against me for St. Peter to be checking on. Phew.
In fact, I learned something new from the plummy voiced English vicar today. He himself gives nothing up. He did however use the days of the Lent period to involve himself in a creative project. This year for example he was creating each of the Stations of the Cross, building each one with love and care as a way to demonstrate his faith.
Which is really cool.
So I myself am undergoing a 40 day challenge. Of the creative kind. I am going to try with the very best will in the world to create, make, read, donate, pray, meditate, love, nurture for a full 40 days (or 46 days if you do the sums). Wish me luck and I’ll post updates as we go. You care to join me? Let’s make Lent something to remember.