Monday, March 3, 2014

Happy Not-So-Fat Tuesday

Fat Tuesday.
Mardi Gras
Packzi Day (pronounced Poonchkee). 
Shrove Tuesday
Pancake Day. 
Fifth Season. 

Whatever you call it, the day preceding Ash Wednesday (or in some cases "days"), has become known as a day for excess. Food, drink, parties, celebrations - get your wild on before the prayer and fasting starts. From what I understand, it wasn't always like this. The tradition began in earnest with people cleaning out their pantries before the 40 days of Lenten fasting. As with most things, what began as a purge has turned into quite a splurge.

I don't know if it's just me, but the spirit of excess seems to be antithetical to the season upon which we are about to embark. Here we are preparing to join Jesus on his march to Calvary, to strip ourselves of the excesses of the world so we can make more room for Him in our hearts and our lives, and we begin with gluttony, drukenness and debauchery. Am I the only one raising an eyebrow at this? 

No, mama! I'm with ya!

Given the disconnect in my own head, here's what I propose. Let's have a Not-So-Fat-Tuesday! We can still celebrate. We can still eat up the good stuff, just not stuff ourselves silly. We could start to imagine what it would look like if we set an example of celebration that didn't involve excess. One packzi, one crepe, maybe one little drink to ready ourselves for the dryness of the desert that is Lent. Maybe, just maybe, instead of stuffing our own faces, we could begin a new tradition of pancakes with the homeless or the hungry? 

I'm chock full of ideas, though short on actual motion this year, huh? The juxtaposition of the excess before the fast seems to be, though, an easy stumbling block to crush. To those of no faith, can you imagine what buffoonery and hypocrisy this must seem like? Let it not be said that we of faith cannot enjoy ourselves, but perhaps we can do so with dignity in mind so we don't discount our faith by our actions. Maybe, just maybe, it is possible to celebrate the blessings we have, to indulge in the finer things of life, without losing our heads, even when we know a period of self-deprivation is coming. We are, after all, taken care of far beyond our imagination. Let's act as though we remember Whose we are, and although we are entering a period of deprivation and fasting, let's remember that Tuesday is by no means our last meal or last hurrah.

Here's wishing you an early Happy Not-So-Fat Tuesday!

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1 comment:

  1. I didn't catch up on my blog reading until today, so this is a late comment, but I'm with you Rahki! I never feel happy when immersed in excess of any kind - I'm a lover of simplicity, quiet, and space. I hope you are finding the beginning of Lent all those things.