We all want the party, the cake, the singing, the presents. But no one wants to clean up the mess when it is all said and done.
One of my favorite lines from the movie Apollo 13 occurs after the first man walks on the moon and all the party guests have left the Lovell home. Marylin Lovell says in an exhausted and tipsy voice, “I can’t deal with cleaning up. Let’s sell the house.”
Tradition holds that the days leading up to Ash Wednesday are a party of epic proportions. Designed to allow the sinner to participate in as much fat food, heavy drinking and debauchery as possible in preparation for the lean forty days of the coming Lenten Fast.
But sometimes those who feast forget the fast. Those who celebrate Fat Tuesday don’t always remember to observe Ash Wednesday. We all want the party but we don’t want to clean up.
As you celebrate today, remember the purpose. Be aware of the coming Fast. Stay cognoscente of the journey that is ahead. Don’t sell the house for one night of party. Stick around and clean it up. The end result is worth the effort.