Not having grown up in a liturgical church, the 'church calendar' and some of the traditions that many Christians around the world take for granted force me to do what, I think, those seasons and traditions are intended to do: make me think.
Today Lent begins. I'll leave the historical explanations and theological musings to others who know better. All I know is that:
- I am not big on fasting. Or giving up things. But I’m sure there is something good to be received by doing it.
- I know that whatever is given up during this season does not make God love me more or win any kind of spiritual brownie points with God, as if He can be bribed or bamboozled.
- I don’t believe in fake fasts. So I’m not ‘giving up’ something that doesn’t matter to me.
- But I am not giving up coffee.
Concerned for my health, my family talked me into spending 3 weeks at a natural health center in India, where various forms of fasting and a rigid regime of daily exercise and naturopathic treatments was to replace my far-from-healthy normal routine. After 3 days of a fruit juice diet, my doctor asked, “Are you ‘regular’ since coming here?” As I shook my head, she wrote something down on the card I was required to carry outlining my daily treatments and ‘meals’. I explained, “My body is missing coffee!” She smiled and said, “I have just prescribed coffee for you!” “Really?!” My eyes lit up with excitement. Showing me the card, I read “coffee enema”.