“GOD I’M NOT EVEN CATHOLIC PLEASE DON’T DO THIS TO MEEEEEEE”
This was my desperate, slightly whiny prayer this morning as I woke up and realized today is the last day before Lent.
When I was in middle and early high school, a lot of the girls I did ballet with were Catholic, so I started giving something up for Lent every year to be like them. I liked the challenge of living without something for 40 days. Back then we’d all give up really superficial things like gum or McDonalds or chapstick(that one was the worst idea ever and I gave up after maybe a week; it’s totally impractical to live without chapstick). I’d complain alongside them and they’d all say “You aren’t even Catholic, you could cheat all you want!” But I was still committed.
Even after I moved to Lexington, quit dancing and never saw those friends anymore, I’d still do something every year, and the older I got the more I saw the real purpose of it.
The point wasn’t to pick something I’d feel like I’d suffer the most without, or that made me look better than my friends; it was to make space for God to move in my life. I needed to take out whatever in my life was filling that space.
One year I gave up makeup, not knowing until then how much I depended on it to make me feel good about myself. Another year I gave up my bed and slept on the floor and prayed for homeless people every night.
Last year I completely forgot to give anything up, but I was already living without so many things in Africa, like internet and a bed and plumbing, so that was all right.
This year I was going to give up Twitter. I thought that was sufficiently challenging and horrible.
And then as I discovered in a depressive rage that Jackie Bradley Jr had come to visit USC and I didn’t go meet him and I felt like the world was crumbling, I knew exactly what God wanted me to give up.
The Red Sox are to me what Clemson football is to everyone at my church. Except probably worse, because college football only lasts for three months or so, and baseball lasts six to seven, and the offseason is just as consuming as the rest of the year if you let it be(which of course I do).
I tried to reason with him. He wouldn’t ask my mom to give up crocheting, why do I have to give up MY hobby? Well, because my mom doesn’t wake up earlier to have more time to crochet before her day starts, or cut her devotions short to do an extra chunk of whatever she’s making.
I begged and pleaded for days and days…but this is it. This is what’s taking up that extra little space in my heart and my head that God wants to fill with much better things. All the hours a week that I spend reading news stories and tweeting my opinions and poring over stats will have to go to something else.
Some famous person I follow recently tweeted something along the lines of “The sacrifices we want to make aren’t always the sacrifices God wants from us.”
I’d rather give him Twitter. He wants my team.
Okay Jesus. All accounts are unfollowed, all sites are un-bookmarked. Give me something good.
Hurry up Easter, I’m already panicking.
Edit: Funny story, I looked back and found that this “famous person” was actually Brandon…I read his book and followed his blog long before I came to Midtown, so I’m still not used to thinking of him as a real person. I told Kristi that once and she laughed. He’s still on a list in my Twitter feed of “Famous writer people,” among Brene Brown and Jenny Lawson and Donald Miller and others.