I Give Up ____ for LENT!

Is there anything we are keeping to ourselves any more? Is there anything sacred any more? Anything?   …?!

Our relationships with
– family
– friends
– joys/frustrations
– sex life
– celebrations
– God
– money

Anything?

Oh yes and the big one – death?

(Judging by the Celebrity Death Watch trend stemming from the deaths of people like Anna Nicole Smith, Amy Winehouse, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston…I digress with a major side eye!)
It seems there isn’t.

Lent
Lent starts today and social media is aBUZZZ with what people are giving up! It ranges from the usual obvious “vices” like alcohol, sex, shopping, going out, smoking, social media itself…but
whatever it is the cyber audience has been made aware of the intentions to observe the Catholic/Christian holiday of Lent. You MUST know this and so you will be told – just in case you were wondering about the faith or some of the people in your social media circles. You must!

The exhibitionism in our society is waaaay out of hand. We are a nation of exhibitionist Christians! It’s so overtly blunt that even politicians like Santorum and Romney want to be sure that they “prove” their [variety of] Christianity as a means to prove their worthiness of the United States Presidency. If you are not out there exhibiting theological doctrines and mantras there is no way you are what you are. If you think you are smart you better be tweeting and blogging about it all day, if you are beautiful you MUST have a blog about beauty complete with products and pictures and videos and retweeting all the compliments you get because you must PROVE it to everyone – those that you don’t even know included!

Can we save some of ourselves for ourselves?! Or let others save some of themselves for themselves?! Something just seems a little off when acts of faith seem to be done in order to prove our faith to others as opposed to for the purpose of private and personal growth in the said faith. Although I am not Catholic, growing up and having attended 2 different Catholic girls schools in Zimbabwe and then in New Orleans, I do know or at least learnt that Lent is supposed to be a time when a person sacrifices things that are becoming a wedge in their relationship with God. It’s supposed to be a time of quiet (that means private) contemplation and reflection.

 

 

 

If you decide to give up alcohol and [pre-marital] sex, for example, ONLY for Lent – doesn’t that defeat the whole purpose? Although everyone struggles with their faith and growing in it (myself included), to me it seems somewhat hypocritical to be giving up things you aren’t supposed to be doing in the first place and be counting down the days until you can be a free sinner again (because that is what you will see as people toot their horns about not drinking as they simultaneously  tweet/status update/et al. about how they just can’t wait to hit up the bar).
So, in closing, I just want to suggest a little introspection and self-evaluation, perhaps as an exercise for Lent. What are you trying to prove? WHY are you trying to prove it? To WHOM are you trying to prove it? In general. In life. Whatever it is you are giving up for Lent be sure that it is a worthy sacrifice and not a superficial one and if possible is it an adjustment that will continue well past Good Friday if it is in fact a vice? Something that in the grand scheme of things and the big picture of our lives is actually a sacrifice that not only needs to be made, but we are honestly willing to make.

Hmm…I will be doing the same 🙂