Ugh. This day is taking forever!! I just want to see my boyfriend. Seriously! But I decided to give something up for Lent, although I'm Baptist.
Some people look down on traditions in churches. To me we've had this wave of "change" in churches, and for the most part I think it's good. However, I think we've hit this point where we think if anything is ever repeated then the person partaking in the event (we'll call it that for now) is simply religious, which is considered wrong in many American Christian homes today. I think that's bad of us. I think some things are meant to be sacred, and that observing those is not religious (when did this word get a negative connotation?) but instead growing you closer to God. Of course anything can be taken out of context. But let me explain.
In my church we observe Easter and Christmas every year. I hope that never changes. Is that too "religious?" Well, no. So why do we slap down Catholics and other denominations for observing Lent the 40 days before Easter? It is most certainly true that Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. It's symbolic. Some people find their relationships with Christ growing while partaking in this.
For me I feel closest to God when I'm actually singing praise and worship songs. But that's me. My boyfriend feels that partaking in the Lord's Supper is the best thing for his relationship with Christ. Are either of us wrong? I would certainly not think so.
The argument is that too many people "boast" about their relationships with Christ or are too "work-oriented" if they observe Lent. What have we done to Christmas though? Or even Easter for that matter? I love attending Midnight Mass (or other versions within different denominations), but I also love watching my niece and nephew's eyes light up on Christmas morning. Is this wrong?? Is it wrong to hide Easter eggs? I don't think so. Others might, but I don't think so. But I also don't think it's wrong to observe Lent. I know, call me a liberal Baptist.
Anyway, I enjoy traditions. I enjoy contemporary thought as well. But I do have a soft spot for tradition, and in no way do I think that takes away from my relationship with Christ. Maybe we need a little "religion" in our churches these days and quit being too accepting of what can happen in the Lord's House. I believe the church walls should be kept sacred. Again, that's a pretty liberal thought for a small town Baptist girl, but this is our Heavenly Father's house on Earth. We go there to learn of Him, praise Him, pray to Him. Why are we accepting of anything people want to do to make it more mainstream America?
So here's what I have given up for Lent: texting and driving. Yes, I should have given that up when it became illegal. And my mom always tries to pin me down for me to sign the Oprah pledge. However, in my 9 months of text messaging I made myself used to texting and driving. People get used to driving 5 miles per hour over the speed limit or driving without a seatbelt. My bad habit is texting and driving. That's probably not a typical thing to give up for Lent, but I'm using it as somewhat of a New Year's Resolution. Hmmm..does that make me too religious to have a relationship with Christ?
I think one day I'll expand on my hatred of the negative connotation religion has gotten. For now I'm going to go pick up my boyfriend in Tulsa. And I'm NOT going to text and drive! :)