“Fat Tuesday”

Proverbs 30:7-9

Two things I ask of you;
    do not deny them to me before I die:
Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
    give me neither poverty nor riches;
    feed me with the food that I need,
or I shall be full, and deny you,
    and say, “Who is the Lord?”
or I shall be poor, and steal,
    and profane the name of my God.

Today many celebrate Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras.  It is also known as Shrove Tuesday.  It is always 47 days before Easter and the day before Ash Wednesday.  Many Christians will now start to fast, or eliminate something from their lifestyle or diet, as a form of repentance leading up to Easter.  Other Christians will focus on a spiritual discipline to add for the 40 days before Easter, like a time of prayer or daily Bible reading or perhaps having a jar to put loose coins into each day during Lent to be donated to a charity after Easter.  Fat Tuesday is also called Pancake Tuesday.  One tradition focuses on eating all the fattening foods in the house on Tuesday so they use up milk, cream, butter and flour by making pancakes.  Some will not eat meat till Easter.  Generally speaking then, today is a day to eliminate things that might draw our attention from God for the next 40 days.

         The above proverb ties in to this idea, I would suggest.  The writer prays to not be too rich or too poor but to be satisfied with his daily food.  Riches tempt us to forget God and think we are self sufficient. The reverse, poverty, can drive us to steal and similarly try to provide for our own needs, eliminating trust in God.  Both extremes make the mistake of not figuring God into the dynamics of our lives.

         At we watch the thousands of refugees fleeing, protesting, and scavenging for the basics of life, we grieve.  It is so easy to see pictures on a TV or listen to the news and the needs of others seem sooo distant or perhaps not as thought consuming as our own dynamics.  May I suggest that today is a good day to remind ourselves of our need to guard from thinking that ignores God.  Is there a discipline you would like to add or subtract starting tomorrow to focus yourself spiritually?  Blessings as you ponder!

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