It all started innocently enough. My company (which is great by the way) held a fly tying workshop at the office Thursday evening. While I do fly fish, I have never taken up fly tying. The company brought in food and drinks and snacks for the 10 or so of us who were there. I had a sandwich and Izzy soda. No problem there. As the class was about to start a beer was offered to everyone. I accepted of course! I love beer. Who wouldn’t accept? Halfway through the beer I had an oh sh*t moment. I don’t drink during Lent. It is one of my things. Crap. I screwed up Lent on day 1.
I poured the remaining beer down the sink and went back to fly tying. In my defense, it caught me off-guard. I wasn’t at home where there is no beer. I wasn’t at a restaurant where I could expect to have a beer and choose not to. It was in my office. It was almost as if the beer was part of a sneak attack catching me off-guard when I least expected it. Excuses, excuses. I was back on track yesterday. Filet-O-Fish and water for my meal.
Moral of the story… don’t let a beer sneak attack you during Lent. You can clearly see the offending can in the photo above taken before my self-realized error. Pax vobiscum.
With no better place to start, the blog officially begins with Lent. I am not a cradle Catholic. In fact, a recent convert from Episcopalianism. I went through the Rite of Welcoming rather than the full RCIA process. I am not sure it is practically any different aside from the final liturgical form. Regardless, Catholic moving forward.
This is my first Lent as a Catholic. Coming from the Anglican communion it isn’t really a huge departure from what I have known. However, it does feel like it has more… gravity. It was important to me to get my ashes this year. It meant something to me. I picked my daughter up from school during lunch and we attended mass together. It wasn’t our normal parish church but rather one super close to my office. There were moments throughout the service where I was almost moved to tears.
At the conclusion of mass there was a lovely little old lady handing out free daily prayer guides for Lent. I took one. When we got back to the car I read day 1 then placed the booklet in my console. Yesterday, day 2, I read the second chapter:
Lord, help me pay less attention to the narrow walls around me, and more attention to how you will enlarge the hall of my life and fill it with blessing!
Those words really slapped me in the face. I know I spend far too much time worrying about… stuff. I spend too much money on stuff. My brain is too full of stuff. I needed that reminder to take a step back and evaluate the reality of my life. I thought and prayed on it last night. It was on my mind first thing this morning. I began to chart out some real changes I need to make in my life. Meaningful changes. Lent is a time of self sacrifice, reflection, and giving back. In no particular order, these are my action items for Lent 2017:
- No alcohol
- No brain-dead television
- No spending money on myself aside from life sustenance expenses
- Cut monthly household overhead by reducing frivilous expenditures
- Read the Bible every day
- Find a way to give back to the Church through volunteer work
That’s it. Those are my Lenten goals for 2017. I have already (quite accidentally) violated one sacrifice but that will be a story for tomorrow. Pax vobiscum.