When you’ve lived with someone for, lets say, more than twenty years, you tend to predict much of their little lifestyle habits. You know their favorite list of television shows off by heart. You know their favorite drink to sip whilst scrolling through facebook to unwind after a long day at work. You know what they’re going to mumble to themselves before hanging up the phone on one of their close friends. Heck, you can even predict how long they’ll take in the shower. You would know the person inside out just from living together for more than twenty years, given there are a few exceptions of course.
Take for instance, my Dad. Right from age 7, I was well aware of the fact that he disliked sweets. He would lecture all of us kids – not about the dangers of eating too much sweets – but how much he despised sweets, period. He even gave longer lectures when he saw cream buns, chocolate cake, cakes with fancy decorated cream or any cake with cream that was served for afternoon tea. He just didn’t prefer the sweeter side of life. But what he did like, was plain, wholemeal bread. The more boring looking, the more appealing.
But something really weird happened today. Out of the blue, my Dad comes home from work with a plastic filled with blueberry muffins, (my favorite) French Brioche and (my-ultimate-favorite-food-I-swear-I-go-weak-if-I-don’t-have-it-when-it’s-just-sitting-there-on-the-table) Madeira cake (mouth-watering sweetness. ‘Nough said).
But the only problem is, this is unlike my Dad to buy something like sweet food out of the blue. He doesn’t even eat these kinds of sweet food.
So the question is, why did this have to happen today?
What is so special with today that got me scratching my head wondering whether or not Dad would go through all that trouble of spending his precious loose change to buy something he wouldn’t eat himself? Weird, isn’t it?
While no other answer seems legit enough, I do know for a fact that I’ve been looking forward to today since last week.
You see, today is Ash Wednesday.
The day when the Lent season begins. There will be a lot of Christians (including yours truly) across the nation and around the world recommitting themselves to God this season. A special season has commenced for Christians across the nation and around the world. A special season that commenced with the mark of The Cross by Holy Water to the forehead to reaffirm that I belong to God. A special season that commenced with the mark of The Cross traced in the symbolic black ashes. Since Lent is an intimate opportunity to draw closer to God and people with sincere intentions, ensuring that we stay strong against moments of temptation can be a struggle.
And once objectives have been established and words of deep reflection parted by the Reverend Dr. at tonight’s Ash Wednesday Service, I come home to my first temptation – sweet food – especially since I’ve always had a soft spot for Madeira cakes and Brioche for the longest time.
I swear, the struggle during Lent this year, is real.
Temptation is already here, sitting in that grey plastic from Woolies, absent-mindedly purchased by Father dearest. Of course I forgive my Dad when he’ll wake up tomorrow morning clearing up his throat to deliver yet another long lecture on how much he despises Brioche and Madeira cake, and possibly (and this is my personal favorite prediction), why didn’t anyone talk him out of it? “Obviously, I was busy talking on the phone and not knowing what I was putting in the trolley. You know how much I hate these kinds of food, why didn’t you say something!?” LOL