I have legalism skillz.
No really, I have turned legalism into an extreme sport.  I’m hoping to get it past the Olympic committee and make it an official olympic sport in 2012.

What evidence do I have that my legalistic skillz are extreme?

I managed to take a grace based  season,  (namely: Easter/Lent) and turn it into a festival of iced-tea abstinence, legalism and pride.

Trust me, that took skill.

It all started with a book and some blog posts I read. (Am I the only one who gets inspired to stupidity by the brilliance of others?) As I read about someone else’s Lenten experiences and observances, I started to feel a little  jealous. (OK, “a little” is putting it mildly.) I desperately wanted that kind of experience. I felt  like I was getting ripped off by my non-denominational, contemporary faith. (I should have known this motive would lead to no good.)

“Why can’t I observe Lent?  I bet I could learn from it…it’s not like the Catholics “Own”  lent or anything..I could do it too…” I thought. Not slowing down  to  consider my motives or attitude.

And with that, I decided to observe the tradition of  Lent.

“Now what?”  I had to decide what to give up. It should be something I love. But something I could do without fanfare and whistles… (going meat-less would affect my whole family… skipping caffeine would for sure lead to murder not an option. I moved down my list of vices… Giving up chocolate?  Too risky.  I might need the serotonin boost or the antioxidants. I’d hate to give myself cancer over Lent… besides…. it’s medicinal, like vitamins.. for Pete’s sake…)

So I wondered:  “What can I give up that would be both a sacrifice and an offering.. that would remind me to focus on God?” Since iced tea is my vice of choice I went with that. (I can tell you which restaurants and drive through’s within a 30 mile radius have the good stuff.) I have been known to pick a restaurant by it’s iced tea offerings. I love Iced tea.

Assuming that a greater blessing would come with a greater sacrifice.. I gave up my tea.

Don’t laugh… You have no idea how hard that has been.  Think quitting smoking without the patch..(although I’m getting desperate… I may tape a tea bag to my forearm later today..

My plan:

  1. To give up iced tea for the Lenten season.
  2. To  set aside the money I would have spent and donate it to the blood water  mission .
  3. Take those iced-tea craving moments and focus on God. I’m using the Mosaic Bible Lent readings.

Now, If I were mature, (which I’m not) I’d have kept this whole thing quiet. But I kind of want people to know about my sacrifice for God.. (Hey, I may inspire others with my… um brilliance?) Well,  I guess it might build my holy street cred… or  not.)

The thing is, people don’t care. Most just say something along the lines of:  “Tracey, You’re not Catholic. ” To which I respond: “The Catholics don’t own Lent.”  (See?  told you, immaturity: I have it..)

So, I’m not sure it’s working in general. Or maybe it’s working better than I’d hoped. I’m definitely learning.  I’m just not liking all that  I’m learning- about myself. (more…)