We are one week into Lent and I haven’t caved yet. There are 38 days to go until Easter.
7+38 > 40
I always heard about the 40 days of Lent. In fact, it wasn’t until about 10 years ago that I actually added it up. Then I confronted my Catholic in-laws who explained very clearly that Sundays didn’t count. WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?!? I thought Episcopalians were supposed to be Catholic-lite, never assuming that the Catholics themselves would cut themselves such guiltless slack. My faith was rocked.Not my faith, faith, mind you, but my faith in what I thought I knew about some of the peculiarities of faith. I got over it, but I still think if you’re gonna do it, you should observe your Lenten resolutions thru Sundays.
I like Lent. At my most religious, I consider myself an agnostic, but for the past 15 years I have chosen some temptation to resist during the 45 days of Lent. It started with a good parenting moment: “Mom, why is Sarita not drinking sodas until Easter?” “Well, it just is a way to practice being strong and resisting bad temptations. If you can’t stop drinking sodas for a few weeks, how will you be able to say no to people who want you to drugs or other bad things?” (Yes, it was when DARE was around in the elementary schools.) A period of doing without or resisting temptation is a part of most major religions. I’ve never been much good at keeping New Year’s Resolutions – those are supposed to be FOREVER. But just during Lent? I can do that.
I think it is as fair to give up NOT doing something as to give something up, so here’s what I’m working on this year. I am giving up playing my favorite computer game and my favorite iPad game. Although this has been successful I have already checked out six new games. Fortunately, none of them are as addicting as Fairway Solitaire. And I am giving up NOT doing some additional daily exercise. So my abs are sore from crunches and my knee is telling me that perhaps I overstretched a bit, but I haven’t skipped a day yet.
When Easter (finally!) comes, the body should be little stronger and the will should be a little stronger too. How many Lents would it take to strengthen the will enough to stick with one of those New Year’s Resolutions? I may never know.