Monday, 7 March 2011

More and less

Lent approaches and I've been thinking about giving things up, taking things on.

I don't want to let this just become about self-improvement. That does seem to be the gist of a lot of it for some people, and I'm not sure that's right. When I start to think about dietary changes, I can very quickly end up with a list that would have me eating perfectly, but making so many changes that I wouldn't really be contemplating God at all, because I'd be too busy avoiding fried food/sweets/meat/trans fats/processed food/etc. There's fasting, and there's neurotic behaviour.

I also don't really want to get into competitive self-denial, not even in the guise where I end up competing with others to get the self-denial "just right" rather than taking things to extremes.

I have the same trouble taking on spiritual practices. I go from "might like to try praying differently" to "keeping a Rule most monastics would find a bit on the strict side, while living a fully-engaged secular life" in about two blinks.

So I'm going to give one thing up, and I'm going to take one thing on, and I've given them both a lot of thought, trying to make sure this is about a journey toward God, not about perfectionism. I've only really told one or two people about these things and I'm not telling anyone else what they are. Even making this post is probably too far toward smugness. Enough.

However, I am going to devour me some pancakes tomorrow!

So there.

1 comment:

Nancy Wallace said...

Is posting about preparing for Lent leaning towards smugness? I've been wondering that too. I came to the conclusion that if what we celebrate at Easter is the centre of Christian faith and good news for all - which I think it is, and if Lent is preparation for that celebration - which it is, then letting people know you are thinking about how to observe Lent may be helpful to others. You don't have to go into details - I think you are wise not to. I'm wondering if I'm fulling taking notice of Christ's words, "Beware of practising your piety before others..." (Matthew 6:1)