Thursday, February 25, 2010

Lent 9: Sitting at a bar talking about Lent

Nearly every thursday night I hang out with mates, mates mates, aquantances, friends and get to know people over a few beverages and some food. We share jokes, stories of the past week, share general life together. I went up to the bar to ask the bar staff for a sprite, and I got asked for I.D. I was not very happy about this, and went and shared my annoyance at getting asked for I.D for a sprite and some chicken wings.

As the time went on, people around the table learned that I was doing lent, and for lent I had given up alcohol and coffee. People started asking the question, what is lent and what does it mean. I shared that lent is not always about giving up stuff, it may be about taking something on. I also tried to describe how lent is meaningful as it gives people time to reflect on life, how thier tracking. I wanted to describe how Lent can be a very freeing expereince and how it is countercultural.

I understand how foreign the idea of lent seems in our culture. People automatically assume that its difficult, and people wonder why you would make your life more difficult.

The only thing I can relate lent and other spiritual practices to is the practice of keeping your body healthy through exercise. Exercise is painful, if you want to be fit and healthy, you need to give things up (eg. time in your day, maybe unhealthy food) and take up healthy practices (eg. a regular exercise routine, healthier food choices etc.)

Spiritual practices are similar, we give up unhealthy activities (selfishness, unhealthy thoughts, resentment) and take up healthy activities (prayer, focusing on God, generosity, thankfulness.) As we pick up these healthy practices we work towards living a healthier spiritual life.


lspeck said...

I like this post!!!!

Nathanael Baker said...

Thanks lacey for the encouragement.