For those of you who don’t know, I just got back from Mardi Gras – and boy was it awesome. Friday, we roasted a 53lb pig in our backyard,  Saturday, I made it to one parade in New Orleans with my two nieces and one nephew, and Sunday, I headed to Church Point, Louisiana for rural Cajun Mardi Gras as one of my friends chased chickens through fields (for the Gumbo, of course!)

Now — and it may be because I am from South Louisiana — but Mardi Gras is a teacher of many life lessons.

For instance, you can catch a lot of beads at the Mardi Gras. You can knock over children, step on people’s hands as they pick them off the ground, and you can jump in front of people to snag the best and brightest. And there are people who do Mardi Gras this way – and there are people way live life this way as well.

You can also fellowship and rejoice  with the people around you. You can share the loot you catch, and if you accidently jump in front of someone who is a lot shorter than you (which I totally have done), than you can hand the bead to them, laugh, and the parade goes on! You get to share food and where you’re from and what you do, and you take care of each other on the street. I was offered what I think was BBQ chicken this past Mardi Gras but in south Louisiana, that’s only a guess. I also fed people King Cake.

There are plenty of people that do Mardi Gras this way (sharing and caring, and laughing along the way) – and there are plenty of people in life that live this way as well!

But however you do Mardi Gras, and however much you catch, at the end of the day there is always that realization that you have blown out your voice and been on your feet for days to collect a whole garbage bag full of useless plastic beads, glowing swords, and faded tin coins. They were fun to catch and snag mid-air, but when Mardi Gras comes to end what do you do with it all?

And the same is true of life…

This Wednesday, aka tomorrow, is Ash Wednesday, where we remember we will die —and that of all the stuff we snag out of the air of life, we can take none of it with us. It might as well be plastic and tin and Styrofoam. Because when the parade ends, the parade ends. That will be that and it will be time to go home.

And we could have beat the tar out of every person around us, and stepped on the hands of children, and acted a drunk fool catching that last bead. Or we can share the throws that come our way, laugh and offer each other food and fellowship, and care for one another till we get to pack it back home…

Which way would you like to live the Mardi Gras?…. And more importantly which way would you like to live life?

Because I believe Christ call us to one, and not the other – and he is the first Mardi Gras King!