I'm not a religious fanatic. I don't attend church. I don't say grace before each meal. I don't really know what I believe. I just know that I believe. Do I believe everything the church (of any denominative) teaches, No. Do I believe there is something bigger than us, yes.
You have one bible and many churches. The fact that all of these churches understand the bible so differently only proves, in my opinion, that the Bible itself is a guide to living life not a rule book. For me, it seems like it's a compilation of life lessons. How do we grow as an individual, a society, a race? We learn from our mistakes or the past. That's what a life lesson is. You did something, whether the outcome was wonderful or terrible, you learned something about life, hence the term "Life Lesson". If you read the Bible what does it say? Well, first it tells you how we came to be. Then it tells you stories of things people did, or how people reacted in certain situations. Then it tells you the consequences or rewards in these actions. Sure all these stories revolve mainly around one key person, still they are all stories about things that can, have & may happen to any one of us at any given time. Life Lessons. So for me the bible, yes I've read the Bible, Yes the whole Bible, is a guide to life. By reading the stories of the Bible we learn about life and mankind. The actions & consequences of deeds therefore learning life lessons without actually having to experience these things first hand. Which for me is great. I mean really, do I want to fight with someone over the custody of a child if it's only going to damage the child? (that's the story about the two ladies fighting over the kid and the solution was to cut the kid in half, if my memory serves me correctly--it was a long time ago I read the bible--and the real mom was willing to give up the child to spare it's life). What did I learn from that. I learned that if you love someone or something you will sacrifice whatever you must in order to garner their safety and happiness. The Bible, for me, helps to guide me in the right direction as far as right and wrong. I don't believe it is a set of rules that we MUST live by. It's virtually impossible. No one person is perfect (remember the quote about he who has not sinned shall cast the first stone, or some such thing?) and no one should be expected to be perfect. Bottom line here in my ramblings is that I don't follow the bible the way I would a recipe for cupcakes but I do use it for base line of ingredients to make something good of my life.
What does this have to do with the title of the post you ask? Well all of that was my long winded way of saying I don't usually participate in Lent because I'm not a "believer", but do think I will use it this year for motivation to do something I should have done a long time ago. So I'm going to give up something for Lent even though I'm not what the Sailor calls a "Bible Thumper".
It's been way to long that I've sat idly by and let myself get out of shape. Sure I've had plenty of reasons to be depressed the last few years, but at this point there is no excuse. Last year about this time I had lost almost 25 pounds. I have since gained almost all of it back. While some of it has been what everyone refers to as "good weight" (muscle toning) and my clothes still fit better than they did over a year ago, I'm still grossly overweight and sadly out of shape internally. The reasons, not excuses, for this are my love of food and lack (abject horror) of exercise. I have no excuses for not curbing these cravings and not using my stubborn mind to use my strong will to be motivated. I know I can do it, it's just a matter of doing it. Don't ask why I know this and still don't do it. If I had all the answers I'd be skinny, or what my body considers skinny. Anyways, I'm one of those people who will sit and watch those weight loss shows while I eat nachos or a burger. Yes that's me. I don't get all mushy and sad when they tell their stories on why they gained weight. Probably because I'm not relating to them, or more yet their reasons. I'm the way I am because I'm lazy. Sure I've been deeply depressed since my 2 year old daughter died 3 years ago. News flash everyone! I was fat before she was born, I was fat after she was born, and I'm still fat. So while I may not have been the most motivated person the last few years, it wasn't anyone's fault but my own.
Again sorry about the long windiness of my thoughts. Back to the Lent thing. So I'm overweight and I'm getting mentally & physically sick of my state of health. So even though I'm not a believer in the reasons for Lent I'm going to try my damnedest to be true to the rules of Lent. I haven't decided if I should just be broad and say I'm giving up unhealthy eating for Lent or if I should pick a specific thing like bread or pasta, or just carbs in general. I know giving up carbs is a good way to lose weight and that when/if you start with carbs again you generally will gain weight back. I'm okay with that if I can control the gain and keep it to a minimum. My goal isn't to become Cindy Crawford or a swimsuit model. I just want to be a healthier me. I will always have curves and scars that will forever remind me of what used to be, but that's okay if I feel better and I am healthier.
So tomorrow starts Lent.. I will think long and hard tonight (code for wait till my morning post to make a snap decision) about what I'm going to give up for Lent in order to help make myself healthier, and let you know my decision.
I hope I haven't scared too many of you off with my religious ramblings... just remember I was rambling not thumping... These are my views and I only expressed them in order for you to understand that for me to participate in Lent is a big deal due to my lack of belief behind the meaning of lent. Because quite frankly I believe if something makes you happy and it's not hurting anyone why should you give it up, even if it's only for 40 days?
Be happy, live happy.