First of all, I wanna wish all Christians a holy lent, hoping this month will be blessed for them.
I always tend to fast on things I like in this month, and find it as a good occasion to test my will to do a thing I set myself to do. This year, It will not be chocolate or bread or a specific food but I plan on cutting down having dinner outside for the next 40 days as I am practically addicted to it.
That will be a good occasion to explore what other things one can do in Lebanon except going to a restaurant or drinking in a pub specially after working hours, and most importantly an incentive for me to go more frequently to the gym!
Feel free to share whatever you are stopping this month, that is if you have any.
We humans are a funny bunch. we want to belong to a religion yet we do it in the most absurd ways…
the book tells us that Jesus wandered for 40 days in the Sinai surviving on nothing but vegetation he could find trying to discover whatever he was trying to discover… have you evr walked in a desert? that is a very very tall order as the scorching heat of the wind and sand cook you from the outside in… that was a sacrifice and a challenge he took to again discover whatever he was trying to discover…
I’m not preaching here, but it astounds me every year at the beginning of lent that people, friends and family included, tend to want to stop doing something they like as a token.
Like you Najib, using a sacred opportunity to cut off on dining and wining and go to the Gym more… what’s the sacrifice got to do with the spirit of Lent?
Either do it right, or don’t bother…
And in right I mean stop of all the things Jesus himself didn’t have, be a vegetarian with a strict menu, and eat lets say ‘hindbeh’ for the whole 40 days, and go to church and participate in mass every day for the procession. Also follow the 10 commandments down to the letter. and then some more… if you want to be pedantic take a 40 day hike in the Sinai, Can you deal with that?
Personally, i don’t bother, But I’m just saying…
If I want to follow Jesus’s teachings to the letter, I would have become a monk as this is the closest you get to living your Christianity.
However, I am no monk and I do whatever I feel does not jeopardize my professional and personal career. I cannot ask for 40 days off to go have a hike in the desert, I cannot eat hindbeh for 40 days, I cannot go to Church everyday. I have beliefs but I am also pragmatic in life.
What I choose to do is symbolic and in someway a sacrifice and good enough for me and If I had more free time, I might have done more. Cutting off this habit will be challenging as I am used to a certain lifestyle.
At least, I don’t plan on going on diet as most Lebanese do claiming they are fasting.
So when are you taking that hike to the desert 😛 ?
Heh, yeah 40 days in the desert is a bit too much. and my comment is not directed to you as criticism, but your post reminded me of behavior that ticks me off. I’m a do or die person when it comes to religion, perhaps it’s my grandmother’s effect on me, she was super religious and the biggest Christian I’ve ever met. I can never be like her and have her conviction, so I choose to take the Christian-Ultra-Lite road.
and in that context, taking advantage of a religious ritual for other gains like the one you mentioned ticks me off on a personal level.
And about that Desert Hike, well, i tried it, got 5 steps from the car in 59.9 degrees on the dunes, cowered, turned around and got back into the Luxury of a Climate controlled SUV. so based on that, i have high respects for anyone that hangs around a desert for more then necessary.
Happy Lent to those who are observing it.
1) While I also get annoyed by people using Lent to serve another purpose (i.e. dieting), I still believe these “token” fasts can be a very positive spiritual exercise. Even if they seem silly, giving up something you love and which forms a basic part of your lifestyle, for no “reason” other than faith, can be a big challenge and it keeps Lent & its message in your mind throughout the day for these 40 days.
2) Hindbeh is delicious!
lent is an exercise that has a double meaning: working on your will and controlling your “needs” as well as sharing. so i suggest Najib you share the money you will be saving this month with people around you and who are truly in need for it.
And one more Advice…meditation helps alot in transcending the basic human needs and takes you to a totally different level. why not delve into meditation in this period too?