I know. I know. I need to explain. This is the annual king cake that our office receives from a very generous client. We all gather in the kitchen and eagerly slice away at the king cake to see who is going to get the infamous plastic baby. For those of you who have no idea what a king cake is- it is a cake that is often used for pre-lenten celebrations that has a little baby inserted somewhere in the cake. And you better pray that you don’t inadvertently bite the plastic baby’s arm off as you take a bite into your pre-lenten celebratory morsel. (*ha, ha snort*)
I did not get the baby. I wasn’t disappointed that I didn’t get the baby. I was absolutely without question amused at the way the baby came out of the cake. As someone in my office proclaimed “it’s not breach!”, as it was served on a plate, this little innocent plastic baby was in perfect position to enter into the world of lawyering at our firm and be introduced to all the other plastic Mardi Gras babies lined up against the wall in our firm’s kitchen. (and yes one of the babies is sans one arm)
This week Lent starts. Mardi Gras is on Tuesday- more famously known as “Fat Tuesday” where Christians all around the world are supposed to gorge themselves with rich and fatty foods, drink various amounts of alcohol or chocolate milk (whichever you prefer, me personally- I’ll take diet dr. pepper) and give insane reasons to show various parts of their nude bodies for strands of plastic, shiny necklaces.
This is all in preparation of the lenten season representing a time of fasting and self-contemplation.
Lent can symbolize a transition into newness. A re-birth of self. Making changes for the good-Similar to a New Year’s resolution, however for me it has a lot more accountability factor. Lent is a spiritual resolution. It can be a real source of determination for all of us when we think of what it is and why it is.
Wednesday is Ash Wednesday. It symbolizes the beginning of the time where Jesus went out into the desert to begin the 40 days of fasting and prayer. Fasting is hard. It is real hard. If you haven’t tried it you should. If you have tried it and failed then you are in the same club as me. But I am going to keep trying even if it only means no meat on Fridays. Lent is a time of sacrifice and self-reflection. I do not know what I am going to give up for lent or do for lent. I am thinking about it. I know I want to do something that means something. Something that I can be accountable for and actually achieve. Even if it is small-
Look at it as the beginning to a new spiritual year. It is a changing process-where we can “listen” to the maps of our own individual journeys. Think about what you want to change in your life. What one thing can you do that will bring you closer to God and bring you more peace?
So many resolutions are built on between then and now.
My challenge is this- if you choose to contemplate the upcoming season of Lent- what can you do that will enrich your life and bring you closer to God- what is that one simple thing? It may be taking a walk in the morning, turning your radio off on your morning commute and sitting in silence or prayer- maybe it is picking up a few extra groceries for the homeless every time you go to the store or practicing the discipline of training your mind to say only good things. Whatever it may be- try to remove the practice of thinking “what I can I do between now and then to be closer to God?” to “what can I do between now and now that will bring me closer to God?”