Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lent - a different perspective

Instead of deprivation being the focus during Lent,  I think the focus should be on getting rid of unnecessary and unhealthy things.  A few years back I gave up dread for Lent.  I focused on just taking life as it came.  I realized that by dreading something I was really suffering twice -- suffering by dreading something and suffering when the dreaded thing came about.  That's just dumb.

This year I'm giving up Puritan Work Ethic.  I grew up in Kansas on a farm.  There was always work to be done.  It was considered virtuous to alway be working.  The catchphrase "Idle hands are the devil's workshop" is practically embossed on my psyche.  The corollary to work is guilt and shame.  If you aren't working, or if you aren't working up to your potential, you *should* feel guilty and ashamed and repent.  Repenting of course means working even harder.  Very little joy with the Puritan Work Ethic.

The older I get the more I think maybe that's not right.  Perhaps being idle is a good and redemptive activity.  Just sitting in the yard watching the clouds and trees.  Just lolling around on the couch reading a good book or napping with the cat.  I'm going to try to do nothing and not feel guilty about it.  Now that's a Lenten challenge!