Today is Mardi Gras and I'm wondering if many here know the association? In Anglican countries, Mardis Gras is known as Shrove Tuesday—from shrive meaning "confess"—or Pancake Day—after the breakfast food that symbolizes one final hearty meal of eggs, butter, milk and sugar before the fast.
This is the celebratory day before Lent, which begins tomorrow. Lent is meant to be a time of repentance which signifies Jesus' 40 days in the wilderness resisting temptation. Thus, many Christians worldwide relinquish something they truly love for Lent, which ends the night before Easter Sunday.
My beliefs are pretty much a reflection of my life, a plethora of cultural DNA containing memories of past lives and associations which can affect me. I have learned which to offer grace and let go with blessings, and others I align with. Jesus is an ascended Master I align with, so I do honor Lent by relinquishing something that makes me happy for 40 days as a humble reminder of how difficult it is to refrain from temptation, which in turn reminds us all how fragile we are as humans, and yet what strong survivors we are as well.
Temptation comes in many forms, most of which is bad for us physically ( drugs, tobacco, alcohol, etc ) spiritually ( disbelief in self, lack of hope, etc ), mentally ( people pleasing, saying yes when you mean no, etc. ), or emotionally (taking things personally, misperceptions, etc ). That's why it's called temptation.
I've been observing Lent for decades and it truly does strengthen your resolve toward any goal you may have set. It's a somewhat difficult time and will present many challenges. I remember one year I gave up sugar, and I swear, every time I turned around someone was bringing donuts, cookies, cakes, etc.
But, I will never forget how sugar tasted differently that Easter Sunday dinner. It was more sweet than I remembered, and much less was needed. But what I enjoyed the most was the sense of accomplishment. It changes you; it disciplines you; it enlightens you.
I hope everyone who observes is blessed with perseverence and grace! Enjoy your pancakes for supper! xo