About a month ago I was speaking to some friends when an interesting opportunity presented itself. We each decided to give things up for Lent and I will document our progress here over the next 40 days
Having only known each other since September, when four of us met on the first day of Uni, none of us really knew anything of each others beliefs. For some reason, the subject had never come up in our lunch breaks or over drinks. I wonder why… Oh yeah, coz we were too busy partying!!… I mean, studying… obviously… 😛
I’m more agnostic than atheist, but basically I don’t follow any religion. I’m not in complete denial that there might be something out there though. This view, it turned out, was shared by two of my friends, Gillian and Phoebe. We’ve all had our own experiences of religion and we’re old enough now to be able to come to our own conclusions.
But enough of that! Totally separate issue.
However. With Irish heritage and having been raised inGlasgow,Shannonhad been raised a strict Catholic. She was enlightening us ignorant and undecided whelps on the truth of what it really is to be a Christian. (coz honestly, after hearing her speak of Catholicism, we realised we really didn’t have a bloody clue! That was quite humbling)
It was really quite inspiring and touching to hear someone speak about a faith that has been so slandered in the press in recent years with such passion and total commitment. She explained to us how frustrated she was with the misconceptions of Catholicism people have these days, all because a few of the shadier aspects were picked to pieces by the press. Even though we are, all four of us studying to be a part of that world, it did make me think that often people and subjects may receive an unduly bad rap.
Everybody has their dark side, it is a reflection of the faith they follow. But that doesn’t mean something is rotten to the core. It just means that you should try to isolate that darkness, fight it into submission by flooding it with light. As some smart cookie once said, “We need darkness to prove the light”.
Gillian and I decided to set a challenge.
Lent is a Christian tradition where, on Ash Wednesday, you give up something for the 40 days and nights preceding Easter Sunday. This day comes immediately after Shrove Tuesday, but in true heretic fashion, most people know it as Pancake Day. There is some story to do with Jesus and the crucifixion and his rise from the dead and a massive boulder or something… But no one really cares about that when the sickly sweet and delicious scent of fresh pancake is being wafted under your nose so, Pancake Day it is!
Now, I write these here words and confess to you, hand on heart… My name is Gemma, and I am a coffee addict. 😄
Gillian thought that an interesting and productive use of her time would be to use me as her glorified lab rat – an experiment into the effects of caffeine withdrawal in a teenager. 40 days without coffee. 40!
Faced with the daunting prospect I counter struck with a vicious blow – give up junk food. All of it. Unhealthy snacks, take-away, the lot!
The crisp addict hesitated, but to her credit, only for a moment. And that was that. Decided. The winner gaining nothing but boasting rights, and if it was a draw, pride.
To be honest, she has more to gain from this than me, the way I see it. Take-away food for the most part is bad for you. She’s just cutting out all the stuff you shouldn’t be eating if you have any sense anyway! Me, however…
How can a person deny themselves the bittersweet goodness in the luscious warmth of a steaming hot mug of coffee? (I take mine black, one sugar, just in case you were wondering 😉 )