Lent – the 40ish day period of time when Christians give up something to simulate the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross. Now, this was the ultimate sacrifice that anyone could ever make….but we somehow think we’re being all kinds of honorable by deciding to cut back on Twix and Twinkies for a few weeks? Because getting nailed to a cross is so comparable to frosting inside of….hey, what are Twinkies made out of anyway?
I wanted to make a satirical Top 10 things that are ridiculous/things we should give up, etc., but these guys beat me to it in a way that was was funnier than I could ever be:
number 10 – charlie sheen with the tiger blood.
I’m supposed to be preparing my heart for Easter Sunday and contemplating the wonder of the cross….but I’ll actually be waking up Easter Sunday in a bikini on a beach in Puerto Vallarta, because I’ll be on spring break (amen!). Just typing that makes me feel guilty, which I know Jesus doesn’t want me to feel. So…I’m back to square one.
People love saying they’re giving up certain things for Lent the same way we all make New Years Resolutions. How many of those have you kept up lately? Statistically, most are dropped within two weeks of making them. So Lent is like a “Round Two – try those life-changing habits again!” in honor of Jesus. We post them on our status updates (unless you’re one of the crazies giving up Facebook for Lent), we talk about them on our lunch break, we compare how crazy our Lent-olutions are with each other, secretly gauging the holiness of our friends by how hard their Lent promise to God sounds. And me giving up chocolate or brownies gets me nowhere closer to Jesus. I always try to binge out with all the other Mardi-gras-ers on Tuesday night and eat all the chocolate and cheetos and everything you want, thinking it will totally ruin them for me for a few weeks. But I will most likely forget I have even promised God I will give up sweets halfway through a donut during a student’s birthday sometime this week or next.
But I’m still going to do it. For the children. That makes no sense, but I felt like saying it.
I’m giving up two things for Lent: sweets of any kind, and the use of the word “amazing.” The word is super overused and has lost all meaning, and I’m tired of it. I’m protesting its use. We use it to describe things that are completely mundane. Throw “amazing” out.
Here are a list of 10 things I probably should be giving up, that would actually be a huge sacrifice.
10. watching tv. I only watch Giants and gLee, and baseball is just starting, and the gLee season is winding down….yiiiikes
9. (s)Talking about Brian Wilson. Nearly impossible.
8. Blogging. Sometimes I get worried that I will get fired for blogging about my job, just like this lady and several other news stories. I write about teaching, its frustrations, the crazy things that are expected of me, the crazy things I put on myself to do, the crazy things kids say, the even crazier things parents sometimes say about their children. There is a story here, a valuable story that needs to be told. And I love teaching, I truly do, and I love writing about it to encourage fellow teachers, to get some sympathy, to make people laugh. But really I’m just a writer who teaches during the daytime. I feel like God gave me this desire and gift to write, and He’d be more pissed if I didn’t use it to say mostly good things about teaching. I used the word pissed deliberately just there, its not a word I normally use, but because I said it one day while teaching and all the students in my class gasped and told me it was practically a swear word. Isn’t that adorable?
7. Wine. But….I teach junior high. C’mon. Lets not get crazy. For the sake of my students and my roommates.
6. Music. This would be a HUGE sacrifice. No ipod, no guitar, no itunes, just me and my thoughts. That sounds horrible.
5. Words with Friends. I’m hugely addicted, I even play against my principal and kind of trash talk him on it. Being extremely competitive, I get really wrapped up in the game, and get upset when people cheat or use words they can’t immediately define. And I harbor grudges over big word scores.
3. Looking in the mirror. Someone we knew from college did this, and had to go to Spring Formal without ever looking at herself. I wonder how that experience would change the way I thought about myself, my self-worth, inner beauty and all that crap :).
2. My iphone. I….I wouldn’t even know where to begin. I would need an atlas, watch, alarm clock, dictionary, Scrabble board, notepad, calorie tracker, GPS system, Bible, laptop, etc., with me at all times if I let this baby go.
1. Sweets. Even above my iphone, I cannot deny the pull that chocolate and cake and all kinds of goodies have on me. Boring end, I know, but legit. This will be what I am giving up, luckily I have a huge accountability group known as the internet, now that I am posting on here that that is what I will be giving up.
Every time I’ve had a hard day, or a great day, and I think “a cupcake! A cupcake is what I need!” I’m hoping instead now I can go “Hey, Jesus, thanks again. You are amazing.”
Dangit. Not “amazing.” Gave that up, too. Hmm…..
Well, I will check in with you every Monday on my Monday Roundups….here’s hoping that I stick to it. For Jesus. Its the least I can do for God.