Lent In My Belly Button

Recently, Jeff and I decided that our kids would give up all games, computer and video for Lent. We decided this for our kids, spouting the usual spiritual application that giving up stuff for Lent is good because we’re looking forward to Easter with Christ’s death and resurrection, and it helps us remember to anticipate this when we give up something really hard.

But, really, I think we were trying to stop the craziness of gaming that had kind of taken over, and this was just a good excuse to do it without having to pull the “I’m the parent, get off the computer” card. Plus, it also made it “spiritual.”

Since Jeff and I don’t have a problem with computer games, we had to come up with stuff to deny ourselves as well. Jeff gave up looking at trivia on his phone and the computer.  He is a trivia fanatic, constantly in search of information and news flashes. He loves the Drudge Report and knows crazy minutia. So this was hard for him.

Personally, I would rather bury my head in the sand than put anything else in my brain. It rattles around enough without throwing completely worthless stuff in there, to boot. So, my Lent give-up was the weather channel. And I’m not talking about the cool weather channel on cable. I’m talking about the ghetto weather channel that you get when you don’t have cable. Regardless, I turn it on all the time to check to see what I should wear and when I can hang laundry outside and just out of curiosity because I have to know, and I can’t just stick my head out the door.

The Lent “rules” say that you can take Sundays off (or so I’m told; I’m sure this was some bit of information that Jeff told me).  So my kids, well, they go a little nuts with the games that day. And Jeff, I’m sure he’s cramming all the information in that he missed over the past week. I, too, take full advantage and try to memorize the temperatures for the upcoming week. But it doesn’t seem to stick, so Julia wrote down the weather for me for last week, including the temperature for each day, complete with drawings of rain clouds and suns. Somehow, I think we’ve all missed the point.

A couple weeks ago, Julia and I went on a girls’ trip, just her and me, for one night at a state park complete with chilly indoor pool. We had so much fun. But I needed to know if I was going to have to drive home in the rain, so I wanted to check the weather. But, it wasn’t Sunday. I told her I was just going to check the weather real quick when Julia said, “I won’t tell anyone.” But then added, “But God will know.”

Geez. I don’t think it was supposed to be like that. Some where along the way, it took on a pharasaical bent. If keeping Lent just means not breaking another rule, then really what’s the point?

So, we’ve kind of let it go. It seemed to have taken on a life of its own and in the process lost its real significance.

Yep, next year they can choose to do their own Lent or not do it. Lesson learned.


1 Response to “Lent In My Belly Button”

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