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Springtime for Pagans

March 11, 2011

The Christian world is dragging its feet into the humorless season of Lent this week.  I get the feeling most everyone doesn’t care any more.  (Click here if you’re dying to know some of the rules and traditions.)  The media world is uninterested since Lent doesn’t impact the economy and there is nothing sexy about self-sacrifice.  The most obvious evidence of Lent outside of a church is the fish sandwich special at every fast food chain.  (We’ve even won over Taco Bell this year … yippee.)

I wouldn’t have much use for Lent myself were it not for an odd connection I made a few years ago.  I learned that people generally need to repeat an activity for six weeks in order for it to become a habit.  Lent is conveniently six and a half weeks long.  I also heard a story about one person who didn’t give things up for Lent, but rather did something new during Lent.

As a result, I’ve used Lent over the last few years not as a temporary sacrifice, but as a time to start habits.  Some years go better than others.  My bathroom stays relatively clean year-round these days, but I’m still hooked on Frappuccinos.  I’ll try again this year.

One of my resolutions this year was inspired by a previous entry.  I plan to cook at home at least twice a week without using the microwave.  I’ll have to locate my fire extinguisher.  It will be the light version of Julie Powell’s Julie/Julia project.  I will not be attempting any gourmet foods, so I might not have any stories to tell here.  I doubt anyone will be captivated with my adventures while boiling frozen ravioli on the stove.

Welcome to another season of self-improvement.  Here’s bonus points for everyone: I would wager that only 1% of Christians even know the etymology of the terms Lent or Easter.  (I didn’t before looking them up.)

Lent is from Old English/German words for spring.

Easter was apparently derived from a pagan spring festival for the goddess of dawn, Austro or Eastre.

… Good heavens.

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2 comments

  1. Good luck! It’s not so bad, once you get used to it! ;O)


  2. Hope the home cooking is going well. I am still drinking Diet Coke… My bones are still slowly being eaten away.



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