When you live in New Orleans for five minutes, you feel the vibe of the city. Sure it has its oddities – sights, sounds, smells – but there is such a celebratory way of life there. When you grow up in a place that is only sunny part of the year and the weight of the emotions of the residents kind of matches the color of the sky, living in New Orleans is a breath of fresh (well mostly) air.
Reaching major milestones in life while living in New Orleans makes it a part of your story. Meeting the man of my dreams in the most unexpected of places led to the best wedding I’ve ever been to, the only marriage I ever want, and our sweet little Louisiana princess.
When we migrated back to the Midwest, we didn’t leave a piece of our hearts in New Orleans; we brought pieces of our history with us. So always and forever, we will celebrate this day – Fat Tuesday.
We will celebrate because it was such a part of the beginning of our story. We will celebrate because it symbolizes a feast before a fast awaiting the Savior of the world to rise once and for all to save us. We will celebrate because my fun-loving husband always enjoys a reason to celebrate and if it involves Who Dat or Mardi Gras, even better.
But as I was making my last batch of king cakes this season, something new struck me. You see, this is the only time of the year I make a pastry with yeast. So I let that thought linger…
Sometimes we get so busy in life that we don’t let thoughts do that. And the power of our thinking is diminished by the next task or need that we have to meet. If you believe in God in any way, shape or form, you are probably aware of a conscious flow of thought that comes from the Spirit. You can choose to pay attention or stay busy. You can choose to listen or dismiss. You can follow the Spirit’s leading or let the world get in your head.
In 1 Corinthians 5:6-8, we find a bit of advice from Paul regarding yeast in bread. It says, “Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch – as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
As I watch the dough rise, I think to myself… “Do I want to be puffed up with selfishness? Envy? Vanity? Reliance on anything but God?” The answer to those questions for me is an Oprah-style resounding NOOOO! Instead I prefer the unleavened style of love, peace, patience, and joy.
And my favorite part of the above verses is, “so that you may be a new unleavened batch – as you really are.” If you believe in Jesus, you are a new creation. You already are. You don’t have to try harder, be better or attempt to be the best version of yourself all of the time. You really already are new… so let’s celebrate that today!
Happy Mardi Gras Y’all!