Thursday, February 18, 2010

Giving Up the Giving Up

Born a religious mutt---my father was Catholic, my mother Southern Baptist---the bloodhound in me has always sought a spirituality wherein I can practice with poignance. The season of Lent, with its annual appeal to elective abstinence offers superlative opportunity.

Too many years, Ash Wednesday's page in the DayPlanner has flipped to front and center with woefully inadequate pre-game deliberation. Shrove Tuesday's two-minute warning bell sounds, and lazily I fall back on my Old Faithfuls of "no chocolate," "no hootch," "no salty language." Sure, all are less-than-ideal personal shortcomings that occasionally segue into gluttony, but does the fleeting few days of deprivation draw me any closer to God? Even a single accidental lapse leaves an aftertaste of full-season failure.

What of the philosophically appealling, less restrictive, more pro-active "Do the Right Thing" approach? Take up exercise. Volunteer. Read the Bible daily. Eat healthier foods---after all, New Year's Eve resolutions tend to be history by winter's end. Even so, the idea of inserting a post-Mardi Gras call to self-improvement seems a bit too convenient. To me, the strategic scheduling of a decision to go do-gooder becomes temptingly more self-congratulatory than Christ-serving.

So what's my Lenten answer? What effort is worthy of my 40-day, pre-Easter endeavor?

This year, I'm going to seek. I'm going to listen. I'm going to acknowledge. I'm going to celebrate.

And for good measure, I'll do it all without Diet Coke.
post signature

17 comments:

mommytoalot said...

I was just pondering what to give up. I like your perspective on this.
er..em...but what's hootch??
.

debi9kids said...

Sounds like a great plan.
Funny your traditional list, as I gave up the salty language and chocolate this year (and staying up late! That's a BIGGIE for me.)

Dianna@KennedyAdventures said...

Hooch? I love you --- you are a riot!

It's a catchall term for a home made drink with pure grain and fruit -- at least in my neck of the woods.

I've got a list going at my place, as well. Salty language is supposed to hit the deck.

Cass said...

No Diet Coke? This is barbaric! How about no oxygen? I sometimes think that would be easier....

monica said...

I think the seeking, listening will be harder than the diet coke! Great way to put it!

noble pig said...

Oh Lord not Diet Coke....

cat said...

I have given up all soda! LOL! I always choose something that I know will be difficult.

Rebecca said...

Ooooh! That's a rough one, you little mutt!

Missy (Two Little Monkeys) said...

You had me laughing choice of words - mutt, hootch (which is a Southern thing : )), salty language. Love it!
I have vowed to exercise more (everyday actually) and after reading the Catholic Teacher's Musings I decided I am going to rid of my life of the negatives too. And kick caffeine. Oh say a prayer for me.

Stephanie said...

I gave up fast food..*sigh*. Couldn't part with the coffee, or diet coke. But it will be a good start to lose the 30 lbs my doctor suggested. It will be a real test!

Marlynn said...

I like your perspective :) just don't give up blogging!

Donna said...

I love you!!! You are a riot!

Mommy2Twinkies-Deb said...

I love your post today. I gave up wine this year. But I seem to have an entirely different side of my spirituality in celebrating all of the religious holidays this year. It feels good.

Laura said...

Let the church say..AMEN!!

Lizz @ Yes, and So is My Heart said...

Great post!

Cheryl Allen Salinas said...

LOVE this post! You are fantastic and I'm so proud you're my friend!

Cheryl Lage said...

Cheryl Salinas, I am so grateful YOU are my friend! :)
Gratitude shall be a key facet of Lent 2017. ;)

Love you!