TT: Basics

Since I already spoke about one of the basic needs of life last week,  I have to stretch my mind a little further this week. Thankfully, this is not hard.  Or is it? Well, I’ll try anyway!

Thinking about things that are basic reminds me of a song . . .

“We need to get back
To the basics of life
A heart that is pure
And a love that is blind
A faith that is fervently
grounded in Christ
The hope that endures for all times
These are the basics,
we need to get back
To the basics of life”

(4 Him, 1992)

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday.  In certain religious circles it marks the beginning of 40 days of self sacrifice in memory of Somebody else’s sacrifice.  They call it Lent.

I’ve mentioned before my religious upbringing.  When I was a kid, we did Lent.  We abstained from meat on Fridays.  We talked about “giving things up for Lent.”  But instead of being a beneficial spiritual exercise, it frustrated me.  I didn’t understand it and it added to my dislike of religion with its emphasis on guilt.

As a college student, I learned a slightly different perspective on the Cross, which was Jesus’ motivation for coming to earth and dying.  It WAS a major sacrifice for him.  But He didn’t do it to have something to hold over our heads, or to force us to do unpleasant things, or to give us an unrealistic standard.

He did it because He wanted to!

And He wanted to do it because He loved us, each and every one of us!

Today I am thankful for His love, shown in His sacrifice.

Quite honestly, I’m still not sure about Lent and abstinence.  I realize it’s a good thing to follow Jesus’ example; I can accept that we as Americans are wealthier than most of the world; I know that fasting has great spiritual value and can help me to get closer to God.  I just am not sure how to do the sacrifice without the guilt.  Maybe I just need to focus more on the love aspect.

I’m also thankful for the background of faith that I had growing up.  Even in the midst of the yuk and guilt, there are a few folks who shone brighter than the stars on a cold and dark Alaskan winter night.  I truly believe that they were the people who “got it,” who saw church and spirituality as more than just “something you do because that’s what you do.”

And I’m thankful that I came to understand that myself!!


8 Responses to “TT: Basics”

  1. Denise Says:

    Very lovely post.

  2. Angela Says:

    Loved your thankful post. How ironic that would mention about Ash Wednesday..I just did a post last night before heading out to Mass. I wrote out what was found in the Missal..This REALLY struck a chord in my heart…
    “In this season of Lent we are called to strengthen our purpose and clarify our vision – to live with Him Jesus’s life, death and resurrection; to live a new covenant of right relationship with God, the earth and its peoples. We do so gratefully, aware of our identity as beloved children of God, aware that God is gracious and merciful, abounding in steadfast love.”

    i LOVED this comment from you “I truly believe that they were the people who “got it,” who saw church and spirituality as more than just “something you do because that’s what you do.” amen amen amen sis…Thank God for His working, His process of the good work that He starts in all of us, He DOES complete…Glory to God,,and that means the Catholic Church also…thank You sweet Jesus!!!!!!

  3. Laurie Ann Says:

    Great post. My take on giving things up for Lent – if it’s sincere, AWESOME! If it’s merely ritualistic, not worth the effort – I won’t be blessed anyway. I don’t practice that because I just wasn’t raised to, but it’s an awesome concept. Prayer and fasting from things go awesome together. Happy Thankful Thursday!

  4. debi b Says:

    What a wonderful and thoughtful post!
    So much to be thankful, esp this, the most holy of seasons.

  5. Grace Alone… » Blog Archive » Thankful Thursday ~ Basics Says:

    […] Nichole @ A Call to Higher Places (Pray for grieving friends)62. purple moose63. BelovedAimee@Reflections of Me64. Grams65. LaDonna66. Malachi 4:667. Mandy @ From the Trenches […]

  6. heidi Says:

    Good post. I agree that if you give it up just because you’re supposed to, it just lessens and cheapens the whole experience and reason for doing it. Maybe it’s more of a sacrafice to give up an attitude rather than a convenience or tangible item like coffee? INstead give up Gossiping or being negative, yk? *shrug* Just a thought.

  7. purplemoose Says:

    Me? give up being negative? HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA AH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA AH AH maybe I should consider that….

  8. Laura Linden Says:

    Well, I remember having a talk on MB’s facebook with you about Lent. I don’t think I told you how much it encouraged me; even though I always do Lent, because I love it and it brings me closer in my walk with God, I still sometimes worry that others will think I’m only “going through the motions”. I’m glad that you understand Lent- I’m so used to having to explain it, as fasts like Lent are so easily misunderstood or ignored.
    ~Linden (the facebook plotter)

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