March 3, 2011
Dave Gibbons' Hardcore Lent
Could you give up exercise, sex, and social media for 40 days?
Do you dare?
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, March 9th. The purpose of lent is for prayer, penitence, almsgiving and self-denial. It could be a grueling 46 days. People ask me about the options for observing this season of the church calendar. Well, here’s a list that is a bit different. It’s a top ten hardcore ideas for Lent 2011.
1. Don't Lock Your Doors. Do we hide behind gated walls and doors too much? Do we need that much security? Maybe keeping open doors reminds us it’s not healthy to live alone. Be radically welcoming! Throw more parties with people you don’t know. (Btw, that’s what hospitality really means in the Holy Book- welcoming strangers.)
2. Don't Wear Makeup. This was inspired by someone close to me who loves her glow. This individual mentioned to me that not wearing makeup it helped her to focus on other aspects of beauty. Btw, if you’re wondering I do like make up. . . on other people.
3. Fast from Chocolate. Did this last year. It’s harder than you think!
4. Fast from Sex. No explanation needed. How about developing a primal relationship with God. There’s another type of intimacy that is heavenly.
5. Fast from Futbol or Basketball. Life outside the square is possible.
6. Fast from Exercise. This is about normal exercise routines or going to the health club every day. Take walks instead. Okay, before you exercise enthusiasts throw rocks at this one. I work out about 90 minutes a day at the number one voted gym in America. I love it there. So I know this is hard but as with anything we can be a bit too intense in a lot of areas of our lives. Let let go of any unhealthy obsessions. Couldn’t sin be defined as something that is good but twisted in some way?
7. Fast from Your Typical Cultural Food. How about eating ethnic foods you normally never eat instead of your normal fare. There is flavor outside your common behavior.
8. Fast from Driving Alone. Besides carpooling is hip. Turn the rat race into a communal space.
9. Fast from TV. You may find life outside the box. . . err the screen.
10. Fast from Text Messaging and Social Media. This may be harder than you think. We’ve almost become neurotic with our iphones, ipads, and laptops. They have become another limb on our already pimped bodies. The slower pace of conversation and face 2 face interactions may actually be healing for you. Come on stop stalking people and start talking to them!
Do you have other lent self-denial suggestions for those who want to experience something MORE? Come on creatives!