Always Chiprin’ Lent

Bess Tiller, Chirper

Every year as Lent rolls around, I feel a sense of guilt. All my peers go and get ash on their foreheads for Ash Wednesday, and I haven’t been to church in 12 years. I’m not saying this is a bad thing at all, but during lunch when I hear what everyone is giving up, I think to myself how awful is it that I’m too lazy to give up ice cream like the rest of my friends.
That’s where I have come to realize I’m wrong. Nothing is incorrect about not going to church every Sunday or eating meat on Fridays during Lent. I will admit I’m a Christian free loader – I live and die for Christmas. But doesn’t the rest of America?
Even though I’m not religious in the slightest I feel the need to participate in Lent. Making myself a better person isn’t something only an everyday “prayer” can take part in. If I could make one critique it would have to be that there must be something better than giving up chocolate.
I think no matter what religion you follow, there should be a practice of helping others. Jesus was a giver, wasn’t he? Who knows, this opinion piece might send me straight to hell. My whole point is, why is giving up potato chips more common over these 40 days than giving back to the community?
This year I have decided to participate in Lent for the first time but in my own form. I’m not trying to make up for all the fake religion I’ve practiced over the years, like going to church with my friends and letting them convince me that as a first timer you must stand in front and scream – sing every bible song. I have just decided to pay it forward to better myself. I’m not sure if I’m taking after my parents, who practice justified football Sundays instead of gospel ones, but this just seems like a better suite.
Jan. 1 feels like a better time to start 40 days of strict dieting and then succumbing to Valentine’s Day treats verses a time meant for bettering yourself. I can’t tell if the corruption in the Catholic Church makes me weary of the actually positives to Lent, or if I just challenge everything put in front of me. Most likely the second one.
I encourage everyone as non-religious as me to join in what I would consider a more “Christian” form of Lent by bettering the Hereford community. The unseasonably warm weather has already put many including myself in a good mood. Adding to that by holding the door for someone certainly wouldn’t hurt anyone.
Some ideas might include buying coffee for the next person in line, bringing food to the food bank, helping a friend study for a test, anything that you might not have pushed yourself to do before, that will help our community.