Ascetic: (adj) characterized by the practice of severe self-discipline and abstention from all forms of indulgence, typically for religious reasons.dictionary with letter A

“What are you giving up for Lent?” the gentleman asked me.

Without hesitation I replied, “Lent.”

Forgive me. I don’t get it.

If we believe the story–I mean the one about God–His entire idea for human beings was to make a beautiful garden filled with excellent work, delicious food and sexual intercourse readily available (because everybody was naked).

Am I correct here? Maybe you don’t like my phrasing, but you can’t deny my facts.

So why would He all of a sudden turn into this prude who is angry with human beings for being human? So angry, it would seem, that He is constantly requesting that we do religious activities that are often anti-human.

  • For of a truth, I don’t think any Muslim would actually kneel on a rug to pray many times a day if his personal preferences were brought to the forefront.
  • Nor do I think any Jew would really like to abstain from bacon.
  • And Christians seem to have an inclination that unless they continually consider the suffering and death of Jesus Christ, they have missed the whole point of salvation.

I look at it the same way I did parenting. If I needed my kids to take out the garbage, I could either beat them into submission, or find a way to make it rewarding and fun. If I was going to be a crummy dad, I could insist they learn to appreciate the importance of garbage removal, but honestly, I realized that was never going to happen. So I chose to stimulate their intrigue with the chore by either making it a game or by offering some allowance.

I did this because my children are Homo sapiens and mortal–not little angels or gods.

If it is necessary to give up something to get to heaven, and I have no evidence of what heaven is really like or whether it actually exists, I more than likely will opt for the choice that is visible in front of me.

Human beings need to be entertained when they’re inspired, and preferably inspired when they’re entertained.

So that is why I have decided to give up Lent.

Because any God who is impressed by me sacrificing my Milky Way candy bars for forty days is probably going to find something else I do that pisses Him off.

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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix


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