A man went to a barbershop to have his hair cut and his beard trimmed. As the barber began to work, they began to have a good conversation. They talked about so many things and various subjects. They eventually touched on the subject of God.
Barber:I don't believe that God exists.
Customer:Why do you say that?
Barber:Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn’t exist. Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children? If God existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain. I can’t imagine a loving God who would allow all of these things.
The customer thought for a moment, but didn’t respond because he didn’t want to start an argument. The barber finished his job and the customer left the shop. Just after he left the barbershop, he saw a man in the street with long, stringy, dirty hair and an untrimmed beard. The customer turned back and entered the barber shop again.
Customer:You know what? Barbers don't exist.
Barber:How can you say that? I am here. I am a barber, and I just worked on you!
Customer:No! Barbers don’t exist because if they did, there would be no people with dirty long hair and untrimmed beards, like that man outside.
Barber:Ah, but barbers DO exist! That’s what happens when people do not come to me.
Customer:Exactly! That’s the point! God, too, DOES exist! That’s what happens when people do not go to Him and don’t look to Him for help. That’s why there’s so much pain and suffering in the world.
Think of your beloved. Think of the person you have felt most attracted to. Oftentimes, we don’t explore our feelings enough. We brush over them, simply grasping for the superficial. When asked about why you feel so strongly for the person you feel most attracted to, quick, sugar-coated answers…
So I’ve put a ton of thought into what I’m doing for Lent this year. I’m not going to share as a “Well, would you look at me, I’m so awesome!” but as a way to maybe inspire anyone else who really couldn’t come up with anything until last second like me.
First off, the Newman Center had this “little black book” which has a six-minute prayer a day. I’m going to do that. I’m thinking about instead of pressing my 9 minute snooze every morning, I’ll pray right at seven and then get up and go about my day. Secondly, I got a pamphlet from Noelke’s on prayers to say before you eat on Ash Wednesday, and every Friday between now and I’m guessing (honestly, I haven’t looked this far forward yet) Holy Thursday.
Thirdly, I’m going to read a Psalm every night before bed.
And lastly (though I have no idea how strict I’m going to be on this), I’m going to try to fast every day. Not so much on quantity of food, because I seriously don’t get many calories in a day, but in the taste of food. I put much too much stress on how good my food is. If I don’t like it, I’ll usually toss it and get some cereal or something. If I’m feeling hungry, instead of grabbing a Snickers or bowl of cheddar and sour cream ruffled Lays like I tend to, I’ll get some cereal or an apple or something. It’s not as though God wants us to not enjoy our meals, but I need to change my focus and think more about the fact that, hey, at least I’m getting dinner tonight. I need to be less wasteful and more thankful. I don’t know how often I’ll be strict about this, but on Fridays for sure.
Anyways, that’s my Lent. And of course I’ll be doing all three days of the Triduum. But really, that’s more for myself than anyone.
I didn’t realize until choir tonight that next week is Ash Wednesday already. I haven’t put hardly any thought at all into what I’m doing for lent.
I’m an adult now. I need to get serious.
Last year I tried to donate time to charity at least once a week, and that didn’t happen nearly as often as I wanted it to. I need to do something that’s for real, and will draw me closer to God and allow me to appreciate His sacrifice for us every single day. But what is that?
Any prayers for guidance between now and Wednesday would be greatly appreciated.