April 10th, 2006


What did I give up for Lent?

I'm still on the Madeleine L'Engle quote binge, mostly because I'm trying to jump-start my journaling mechanism again...

Too often we are tempted to turn and worship the icon, and that is idolatry. The golden calf of the Israelites In the wilderness is the prototypical idol, the man-made creature which was worshiped instead of the Creator, dead metal rather than Living Maker.

After the flight from Egypt, the amazing journey through the Red Sea, the long years of trekking towards the Promised Land, Moses was over-long talking with God, and the impatient and anxious people felt abandoned both by Moses and God. They said to Aaron, "Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we know not what is become of him."

And Aaron (what was he thinking of? We would have expected better of him!) said unto them, "Break off the golden earrings, which are In the ears of your wives, and of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me." And Aaron melted down all the jewelry which was given him and made a golden calf, and "He built an altar before it."

Aaron and the people did what God had clearly forbidden: "They made a calf in Horeb, and worshiped the molten image. Thus they turned their glory into the similitude of a calf that eats hay" They tried to turn their idol into a god and of course it did not work; it never does.

And Moses, coming down from the mountain after talking with God, saw the golden calf and the people dancing around it, and he was furious, and told Aaron so in no uncertain terms. Aaron defended himself, explaining that the people wanted gods to go with them, and they didn't know where Moses was, so Aaron took their gold, and threw it into the fire, and "Out came this calf"! Rationalizing and alibi-ing, just as we still do today: Who, me? I had nothing to do with it. Out came this calf!

An icon does not have to be an idol. An icon should give us glimpses of our God who is both immanent and transcendent, knowable and unknowable. If an icon becomes more important to us than what it reveals of God, then it becomes a golden calf, but this does not need to happen. (Madeleine L'Engle, Penguins and Golden Calves, p. 19)

Last year, I used this quote as part of a journal entry... I want to revisit the entry and expand on it a bit.

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Last week, I had a discussion with someone about the concept of giving up things for Lent. She asked me what I was going to give up... I confessed that I've been having difficulty with the practice because it seems like an empty routine to me. I have never been a person who practices empty routines. If I can't do it with all my heart, I don't do it; and regarding Lent, I feel that the point isn't the sacrifice but the impact it has on the way that I live my life. I could give up chocolate cupcakes; but if after Easter Sunday I intend to go right back to eating them as I normally do, there is no point in the exercise. It has had no lasting impact on my life, and I don't think it is anything that God would accept. What is an acceptable sacrifice unto the Lord? Not this!

So I will honestly tell you that I did not give up anything for Lent. In case this seems awful, I will also tell you that this does not mean that I have not had an encounter with Jesus. That is for another entry--and incidentally, that entry will not include a Madeleine L'Engle quote.

  • Current Music
    the scanner (of course)

Voice Post:

1203K 5:55
“Hello. I'm just running around doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that. At the moment I'm heating up a baked potato in the microwave, and I thought I would make a voice post because I have something very funny that I wanted to share. It's something that can't be passed along in writing. For those of you on my friends list who don't know this, and there might be quite a few, I'm visually impaired, and that means that I can't read the screen with my eyes, so I use a program on my computer that has a synthetic voice. Well, it has several. You can set it to a male or a female voice, or even a chiild's voice, and it reads the screen out loud. I can actually have it read, *microwave goes ding*, any portion of the screen that I want to. The name of the program is JAWS, but the little girl that stays with me calls it my funny man 'cause he does sound pretty funny. So somebody on my friends list is sick right now; she made a phone post, and in her phone post, she said she thought it would be more... I forget how she worded it... I think she said it would be better for us to hear how she's doing instead of hearing Jaws read, I am so sick. lol! and I just cracked up! I started to try to transcribe her post, but after hearing her do that, I just couldn't transcribe it. It was too funny; it just really made my day.

While I was logging in to do this phone post, I discovered something rather interesting. I discovered that I made a serious booboo last month, and that is that... well it was actually something I didn't even know. I did not know that when you hang up on a voice post, it is private; that's the default setting. And that is exactly what I did. I posted a very very very very very funny voice post in my live journal while I was on my trip to TN. At first I thought I lost it because... well... I hung up in the middle of it, and I figured that, since I hung up, it didn't post... I didn't hit the pound key and didn't go through the whole posting routine... I probably lost it. And later, I checked my journal, and I thought, "Well, there's my voice post." But nobody ever commented, nobody laughed at it, and I was really disappointed. And while I was going through my voice post settings, because this thing wouldnt' let me log in to post this post, I saw, "Hang-up security, private," and I thought, "wait a minute; that's what happened to that post!" So as soon as I finish with this one, I get to log in to that one and change the security to whatever I want it to be. So I will be linking to that post in my next text journal entry.

And speaking of my next text journal entry, I'm not quite finished for the evening, and for those of you who've been rather sick and tired of my Madeline L'engle quote binge, you'll probably be happy to know that I'll be done with the quote binge for at least, hmm, one or two entries. Well this counts as at least one, so I'll have at least one text entry. So you get a little breather for a little while. And then who knows what other author I'll pick on to quote binge next. This is kind of fun, and it gets my brain working a little, lol. I've been sleeping and cleaning my house, and I'm working on my second month with no respiratory infections, and that's a good thing. we're gonna hope that that continues for quite some time. Tomorrow I go to the E.N.T. to check out my options for treating this whatever it is that's considered an obstruction in my sinuses, probably a polyp, whatever a polyp is. It's a weird word. Ya know, p o l y means poly, so is poly a poly p? Anyway, lol, I'm in kind of a strange mood this evening. I'm gonna go eat the baked potato, and maybe I'll fix another cup of coffee. Watch out! I've already had one today! *Mischievous smile* Good bye. *Beep* Am I still posting? This is scary. I hit the pound key, but nothing's happening!(”

Transcribed by: tonyspeaks