Today is “fat” Tuesday. The Day before Lent begins. In these parts its also known as Paczki day. Yummy fattening donuts started in “Pole town” or “Ham town” whichever you prefer. Two words for you “YUM-MO” but let’s not go to Meijers or Kroger or Dunkin Donuts and think you are going to get anything but a box of jelly donuts with different filling at a higher cost. Yes, that’s right, all donuts are not created equal. There is a small Bakery by my house that I paid a ridiculous amount of money for the “real thing”. So many flavors to chose from… my favorite… Apple. The original flavors Prune and Custard. Now you can get them in all flavors but if I catch you eating a chocolate filled one, I’ll chase you until we both burn off the calories, that is just not right.
Back in the day we would go to Erica’s Gramma’s house and she would have them for us, and she would make us a yummy dinner in preparation for the “fast” that was about to occur, including “giving something up for Lent” and no meat on Fridays. Fish Frys everywhere people! In our house growing up it meant fish sticks and Banquet Mac & Cheese or Fries. Thinking about fish sticks and that mac & cheese makes me want to say “ick”.
Then I read this post by Pastor Chilly from Real Church located in Pole Town. Religion and Rituals. Ugh. now what I am about to say, I certainly don’t mean to offend anyone, this is how it is in MY life, maybe not yours, but MINE! You can write your own blog about it… I’m not debating here…
I grew up in the Catholic Church, and while I knew there was a God, He was more like my “go-to” guy when I needed something. Kind of like Wish Granter. My prayers were wishes and God was someone to run from not to. Never opened a bible. Didn’t even own one. The only time I heard His Word was on Sundays when I let someone tell me about it. Now I devour His Word, like it’s my last meal.
Sickens me to think of all the years I “wasted” that I could have really known God. Had a relationship with Him. Fallen asleep praying to Him, in His arms. That’s right. I wish that someone would have explained to me that the cross was more than a symbol, it was real. It was about a God who loved me so much that He took away my sins, that He is WORTHY of our praise, He is WORTHY of our worship, that He is WORTHY to live your life for. He is our LORD AND SAVIOR. He was and He is and He is to come!
Now I belong to a “Modern Church” and I find myself thinking it would be nice to have a little tradition. We don’t do anything the same twice. It’s not always good to do everything the same way twice but it’s not always bad either. Sometimes we lose the grandness of tradition! I think we forget that when we have tradition, we have memories. As long as we don’t lose the Love that is part of the tradition.
I’m thankful that in these last few years that I’ve learned that “giving up” something is not just something I do for 40 days as part of a “sacrifice” (like I could ever have the same amount of sacrifice as Jesus did for me), I learn that giving up something that is not good for me (let’s call it what it is SIN!) will not only be better for me, but it will bring me closer to God, because it is sin that seperates us God.
I don’t know if I have a conclusion today, just love God, love Jesus for His ultimate sacrifice, for His love.
And go have a Paczki.
Psalm 145:3 Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.