Lent is generally thought of as a time for giving up something to cultivate a deeper faith. I was raised Baptist and as Baptists we thought the orthodox got off easy. We gave up stuff all the time, not just during a special season like Lent. We gave up things like, dancing, playing cards and consuming alcohol. I once crossed the line by painting my nails. FOR SHAME DECADENT!!!!! I would paint my nails while riding to school on the bus and try to remove the polish while riding back home on the bus. I actually took a straight razor once and tried to shave the polish off my nails since I wasn't up on acetone. My life was very sheltered.
I could never see Lent working with Baptists. Food. It's about the food. Imagine a Baptist being asked to give up his food. "You mean I have to give up Tuna Supreme Casserole with Crunchy Cornflake Topping?" I suspect the fallout wouldn't be any prettier than what happens to Baptists during the annual budget meeting. Shrove Tuesday didn't even enter our thinking, except for the unusually high number of Pancake Suppers being announced on the radio. I just assumed it was the farmers getting a little bored with winter, since pancakes were always served at farm meetings too.
I likewise had no idea what Ash Wednesday was. Once in high school, I helpfully told a boy, "You have a black smudge on your forehead." He just blankly looked at me, which I thought was typical for him anyway. Idiot. Then I noticed his sisters all had black smudges on their foreheads too. Wierd family. And then I noticed a few other kids with black smudges on their foreheads. Conspiracy. And then I found out that they all actually got to miss the first few classes to go to church and have those smudges placed on their foreheads. Ha! Convert.
(The first photo is the marsh boardwalk at Point Pelee National Park, Ontario, Canada. The second photo just happened - well, a whole food fight could occur over that remark. Another time. I was reading and allowing my thoughts to wander pondering how to illustrate this post, when I looked down and saw "Lessons of Life." Ha! Again.)