My super sparkle (who is running the marathon soon in aid of a good cause- give generously) asked me today “what are you giving up for Lent?” To which I automatically replied “nothing, I don’t do Lent.” With no further explanation we began discussing the merits of various pancake toppings.
Yes, loyal readers, it is pancake day, or to give it its non-secular name Shrove Tuesday. I would usually suggest that if you are not about to use up all the tasty stuff in your house before embarking on a 40 day period of ritual fasting, then hands off the pancakes. No perks of religion without the religiousness. But the problem there is that I love pancakes and simultaneously have an intense dislike of ritual fasting, or indeed personal hunger of any kind so it would be hypocritical of me to proscribe any such indulgence in others.
My lack of engagement with Lent probably stems from my lack of engagement with the underlying pagan roots of the Easter festival. As much as many people like to think it’s all about Jesus I hope, loyal readers, that you will already have spent some time pondering the relevance of chocolate eggs and bunnies to the story of all mankind’s salvation. Having come to the conclusion that no, there is no relevance, many people spend 40 days of spring studiously avoiding chocolate in preparation for the ovo-lapin massacre on the bank holiday weekend.
Is there any reason why Lent should be such a negative experience – that it should be a giving up? Is it just the miserable guilt-ridden administrators of christendom trying to sap the joy out of spring, when all thoughts turn to new life? Instead, why don’t we have a positive Lent? Rather than giving something up, why not do one good deed a day? 40 days and nights of proactively contributing positivity to the human experience.
It’s easier just to not eat the chocolate, right?
We’ll do some points-totting soon, promise.