Wednesday, February 25, 2015

You Look Nice Today

           I gave up meat for lent.  At least I am trying to.  I’m not a practicing Catholic.  I have trouble with living by a book that a man wrote.  I believe in God and that Jesus was a great teacher and that if we lived by his tenets that this world would be a much better place.  I do not go to church except when I find a priest I love to listen to, one that connects with his congregation and one that is human and shares his trials and tribulations, not just preach about how damned we all are.
I know I probably have disappointed my parents in the way I don’t attend services.  I’ve tried Methodist, I’ve gone to synagogue.  I like listening to the stories and singing and being a part of something bigger than myself, but I dislike hugging strangers.  And even if we’re all part of a church family, you are still a stranger to me.  I very rarely reach out to someone and hug them.  I have to be very comfortable to do that.  So group gatherings are not a good fit for me.

I was trying to think of what I could do instead of giving up meat, because let’s face it, this isn’t working.  In fact, last night after I took my daughter to her safe driving course I suggested a burger from the King.  Not thinking, I had one.  I realized it on my way home, after dropping her off at her house, that I had done it again!  Then the guilt sets in.  Why do I get myself all worked up?  I haven’t done lent in years!

I was thinking I could do something more.  I read part of an editorial about giving of yourself, not taking something away, and I thought “What can I do?”  I’m not sure yet.  I am sincerely selfish because I will not go outside to shovel a neighbor’s driveway just for the hell of it.  If they were elderly and couldn’t get out I would be there but just to do it for an able bodied acquaintance?  Ummm, no.  I thought about volunteering at the SPCA, which is a noble act indeed and I support the people who do so, but I would walk away every day wanting a cat or dog and wondering if they were going to be put down if I didn’t take them home.  We have three dogs and one cat.  We can’t afford flea and tick medicine, let alone emergency care, at this point.

Then I thought this – A Random Act of Kindness – every day.  The only way I have participated in this so far is that I have stopped myself from saying something mean, or being preachy, and just letting the other person talk.  Say what they have to say.  Inwardly I may be screaming, but on the outside I look like I care.  Not fair?  It is if you’re the one sitting across from me.  I’m kidding, for the most part, although I am trying to be more accommodating/fair/nice.  I’m actually pretty good with people I don’t know.  It’s people that I DO know that I have no patience for.

So this Lenten season, I will try to cut down my meat consumption and work very hard at doing something nice for someone every day.

Trying to grow spiritually - hopefully I have the right tools