Monday, February 18, 2008

So how is Lent going for you?

I got an email from a friend today (hello, OL FU!!) who has not seen me post for a while on an internet football messageboard. I could have responded that it is the off-season (if such a thing truly exists for diehard football fans) and beyond Wofford’s excellent recruiting class (minus a nose tackle or two) there is not much to talk about on a football messageboard. Of course, that is not entirely true--- there is usually a bunch of stuff to discuss: sports and politics to movies to theology (believe it or not). I told my friend that visiting AGS was one of those things I gave up for Lent. I also gave up SimCity. SimCity is a neat computer game that allows you to build a city from scratch into a thriving metropolis or blow it all up. It is a great stress reliever.

I am not the only one in the household to give up stuff for Lent. Staff Sgt. WE has given up sodas and LPCoolJ gave up chewing gum. I think Mamma Deacon gave up her health (since she has been battling pneumonia). Since the Patriots lost the Super Bowl (THE last football game of the year), I think the Athlete gave up football---although that was not a choice.

Seriously, why all this talk of giving up trivial stuff (minus Mamma Deacon's health)? What difference does it make if I don’t build a city of a quarter million imaginary people or discuss with D1B the finer points of the Incarnation through the church? What is really to be gained? For me, I have already gained the experience of finding other ways to relieve stress that work my body as well as my mind. I am now walking daily on the treadmill. It is a healthy, if meager, start. Doing without the trivial things helps me to focus on the important things I have lost or forgotten. I am developing a better prayer discipline that I had lost over the course of the past year. I know on so many levels how beneficial a prayer discipline is to have, but how hard it is to regularly practice. It is still early in Lent; there is still plenty to learn and areas of life in which to grow.

I will be back building cities and discussing football March 23rd. But hopefully the things I have gained (and lost) this Lent will not be forgotten. I hope they will be part of who I am and what God calls me to be.

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