Wednesday, February 17, 2010
rock me, zombie jesus
I love Lent! I love love LOVE it!! Which is almost definitely the opposite feeling I'm supposed to have about the season, but...it's true. For the past few years, it's rapidly climbed the charts and is now my favorite segment of the liturgical calendar. I've been thinking about why. Here are some of my musings:
-I have struggled with depression for my entire life. Depression feels so isolated and misunderstood and pensive, and I feel like this totally relates to how Jesus' time in the desert must have been. The difference is (mainly) that depressed kids are WICKED annoying and think they're martyrs, but Jesus knew was a/the martyr and was totally not annoying about it. Score. Oh, and that depressed kids aren't divine. Right.
Seriously, I'm so annoyed by this girl already. She's clearly depressed. Or has just hurt her head.
Not like this guy! He's ready to roll!
-A whole 40 days just to think?? I love it! One of the reasons that I enjoy going to church is to have at least one hour of reflection somewhere in the week. And Lent is totally a season of reflection! Advent is supposed to be, but MAN Christmas is overwhelming. The media has just absolutely preyed upon it, and there are too many lights blinking to think enough and get into the mood of the season. But Lent...it's like it doesn't even exist in TV Land. Genuine quiet. And during a quiet time of year. I feel like I really become a slightly better person over the course of each Lent. I probably undo all the work the rest of each year, but I'll take what I can get. I mean achieve.
This year I've give up cursing (8 years running!) and I want to be able to run a 10k by Easter. Right now I can just barely almost run a 5k. So it's going to be a struggle. The ice outside does NOT help, but my parents are giving us the treadmill they never use!!! So that should help a LOT. Yesterday I used their elliptical, and my legs are not pleased about it today...
I don't want to seem as thought I'm proselyting at all. If you hate the Catholic church, that's your deal. I wish you didn't, but a blog entry by me isn't going to change any deeply-seated beliefs you hold. I'm mostly just enthused about 40 days when all I'm supposed to be doing is reflecting on my life in a realistic way. During Lent, I'm not worried about what I'll be doing in 5, 10, or 20 years. Or how successful I may or may not be. I'm only focusing on the day to day. Because the day to day is really what shapes things down the line. If there's room for improvement in your life, then improve. There genuinely are no excuses for being dissatisfied with oneself. Either come to terms with the issue, or fix it. We should all be doing that, all the time. Lent just really helps me get the self-improvement ball rolling a little bit better than when I do it other times of the year.
That's how going to church during Lent feels to me. It's beautiful and calm and clear, and I'm surrounded by things much deeper and more powerful than me. It's quiet because it's not a "playful" season. The water in this lake is much too cold for swimming. See? Perfect comparison. Thank you, Internet.
Slightly related aside: I know a LOT of people who say they are spiritual but not religious. But what does that mean? Sometimes they think about the ethos of their life and how they believe the universe exists? Do you think a single one of those people sits for an hour every week and just thinks about those sorts of things? Sitting and actively thinking is, I think, one of the most important things a person can do on a regular basis.