Growing up I heard of Lent and my mother always encouraged me to give up something for Lent, but everything changed when I got married and instantly became an Episcopalian. That first Shrove Tuesday we attended dinner at Trinity with music, dancing children, pancakes, and much more. Perhaps one of the greatest honors I ever received was being invited to be part of the kitchen crew on Shrove Tuesday. (Although you won’t find it on my resume’ or on any book cover). Even though I am not in Little Rock anymore, we still celebrate Shrove Tuesday with pancakes and gathering of the family that is close.
This morning I explained Shrove Tuesday to my Yoga instructor. She understood the need for a day of celebration before forty days of meditation, fasting, sacrifice, and service. I read recently that the Lenten season is approximately one-tenth of the year much like tithing — giving one-tenth of year to getting closer to God.
So much of Lenten discussion is about the sacrifice and fasting, but I prefer to concentrate on this period as one of meditation and service. I guess that is because I fail so often with the sacrifice part. (Oatmeal Raising cookies are hard to give up.)
Although, I will find the opportunity today to locate the perfect oatmeal raisin cookie and will enjoy Shrove Tuesday pancakes with Caroline, Jeremy, and their girls, I must remind myself to spend a little time in preparation for the next days and weeks. No matter how you celebrate Shrove Tuesday, I suggest you do the same. Ask yourself what are my plans? How will I fit prayer/meditation, sacrifice, service, and fasting into my schedule.
The one thing I will promise you about Lent is that if you observe it as well as you can the rewards will surpass your greatest expectations. Please join me for the next forty days or so and have a pancake for me tonight.