Happy Pancake Day
I have to confess, shrove Tuesday, a.k.a. pancake day, is my favorite part of the whole Lenten season (besides Easter Sunday of course).
I know it’s probably because I just really love lots of food. And yes, I am a massive fan of good pancakes. But I do think there’s something more to it than that.
Either that or I’m really good at lying to myself…
I just really love the meaning of it. It’s a time to prepare for that season of preparation; so it is preparing to prepare. It’s a day to consider what kinds of things there might be in one’s life to let go of or to grow in, in order to become both a better person as well as get closer to God.
Shrove Tuesday/pancake day/mardi gras (Fat Tuesday) is a day designed to eat up all of the rich foods in one’s house in preparation for the 40-day season of Lent. Hence mounds of pancakes get made to use up milk, eggs, sugar and flour and things like that. It’s a time to party before a season of fasting.
The beauty of the whole season is that whether we participate in the season or we don’t, whether we succeed or fail at whatever we choose to do for Lent, it doesn’t matter as to how much God loves us. That has to be our starting point. God loves us as his beloved children no matter what! There is no cosmic scorecard being kept in the sky as to how much God will love us based on the things we do or don’t do.
Lent is not about earning love points with God. We couldn’t be loved any more than we already are.
Shrove is about ‘shriving’, ‘striving’ to become healthier and holier people. If we ever hit a time where we think we’ve arrived, we are in a very dangerous place. We ‘strive’ our whole lives to get to an ideal place that we know we will never actually achieve. That’s why I love Shrove Tuesday so much.
The 2 hard parts for me on this particular Shrove Tuesday is that I am not near any pancakes, and I am not with my family and closest Christian community. I am here in Los Angeles, but I have no vehicle to get to a pancake house. I might just see if I can figure out transit, as long as it is accessible. I actually think it is. Or I may be left to have virtual pancakes and feast on the things they so graciously provide me here for my meals. We shall see. When my girls were here we did go to the pancake house and gorge on them knowing full well that I wouldn’t be with them now and I might get jammed up today.
Either way, throughout this day I will be reflecting on what kinds of things would make most sense for me to do or not do during the Lenten (the days lengthen-hence ‘lent’) season.
One thing I do know that I’ll be doing for Lent is deleting the Facebook app from my phone. I won’t stop using Facebook altogether, but with it not on my phone I won’t check it anywhere near as much as I am tempted to do now. I do think that this will be a good thing for me on many levels during the season.
I will do my best to keep on striving. That’s all I can really do I guess.