Small Background Information

Around this time last year, I did not do anything for Lent. Despite being a Christian, I knew very little about it.

This year, I made sure to do my research so that I could get involved.

Asking around, and looking for information, I now know that Lent is a period of time which many Catholics and Christians are involved in. “The purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer through prayer, doing penance, repentance of sins, almsgiving, atonement, and self-denial.” (Wikipedia may not be a reliable source, but I thought that since it was a great explanation and not an essay, so why not? *gives a cheeky smirk*). 

It relates to Jesus, and his endurance against temptation by Satan, in the wilderness.

What Lent Means to Me

For myself personally, I view Lent as a period of time I can truly humble myself and connect with God as much as I can. I want to go deeper into my relationship and be detached from wordly things. This is an opportunity to reflect on what I have done in the past, and be able to improve my heart towards God and other people in my life. It is a chance to demonstrate a godly behaviour, which I have not been doing for a while.

Going Vegetarian

I have decided to become a vegetarian for Lent, for various reasons:

1. I seem to have a mild obsession with chicken, and thought I should be more disciplined in what I chose to indulge in.

2. I am against animal cruelty and exploitation, hence why I choose not to buy animal tested products, and not visit any tourism industry where animals are used for entertainment. I realised that my eating lifestyle was a contradiction to my belief, and so Lent became an opportunity for me to live out that belief.

3. This was something I wanted to do for a while, and to see how it impacts on my wellbeing.

4. I wanted to contribute to help changing the world, even if it was just a small role on my behalf.

This blog post is nothing special, just my chance to remember my first Lent.

Being Different, in a Collective Place

As amazing and beautiful as Thailand may be, I found one ultimate challenge I approached nearly every single day. Being different.

Now, I do not mean that I am something special and unique, who is beyond everyone else – that is not what I am trying to say.

As many may know, Asian countries tend to exist in a collective society, which branches under ‘collectivism’ and by definition (on a political stance) means – The ownership of land and the means of production by the people or the state, as a political principle or system.” Now, on a student level, I am trying to say that the students here tend to stick together in packs, doing the same thing, following the same routine of waking-up-partying-sleeping-repeat. I am not trying to put down this lifestyle, by no means, if you can still do this and keep up with all of your studies, good on you.

How am I different?

Firstly, I do not drink alcohol. This immediately placed me out of the circle of your regular student. Secondly, I do not like clubbing. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE to dance, hence why back in Sussex I was in the salsa society and enjoyed your regular party around those whom I am comfortable with. However, I am not one who would be up for cramming myself into a packed room full of other sweaty and rowdy human beings trying to touch-you-up. I am not about that life.

Thirdly, I am a Christian. Thailand is not a Christian country, and nor are most of the students here at MUIC. But that is okay, because one of the reason I chose to come to Thailand, was to bring the gospel here.

I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel the pressure to drink and party all-the-time, because everyone else is doing it. I do feel the pressure. However, as long as you remember who you want to be, stand firm in your own identity, you can be strong. I’m not saying don’t do these things. But for myself personally, I most definitely should not drink, because I cannot handle alcohol and get easily drunk – which ultimately leaves me in a vulnerable position.

So I guess, being different is not always a bad thing. This is because you want to live a life that is your own, not someone else’s. Remember, to always do you and follow your heart. With Jesus, I know who I am.