What Do These Things Have in Common?
These are the things I will NOT be giving up for Lent.
Herein lies the humanness of my struggle with the Lenten season. I love the season because it challenges me to either "give up" something that is precious to me or/and "take up" something that I should be devoting more time to. I totally "get" the meaning of it all...the idea that it's a season of sacrifice, so I should really be doing my part.
The problem is that I don't really want to give up the things I really love...like the cupcakes, and the "Lost," and the Mexican food and margaritas, and the college basketball, and the blogging.
It's a struggle; it really is.
My solution--you may call it a "cop out"--is that I've decided to focus this year on "taking something up" instead. I don't really think I have a vice that's too problematic for me, and besides...would giving up chocolate or sweet tea really bring me closer to God? Would I spend the time I'd usually spend on guzzling down that big ole glass of caffeinated sweetness on prayer or meditation (which is really what we're supposed to be doing)? I'm gonna keep it real here and say, probably not.
So, instead...I'm gonna do my best and keep-on-keeping-on when it comes to praying and reading some good spiritual stuff everyday. But I'm gonna add one new wrinkle to the mix. During Lent (the 40 days from now until Easter), I'm gonna try and do one "random act of kindness" sort of activity once a week. Not sure how that will manifest itself in practical ways, but I think it might be good to think in that sort of direction.
(The idea of fasting really appeals to me as well ...but the last time I did it, Gary was rushing to McDonald's at 12:01 AM on Easter Sunday morning to get me a double cheeseburger. So, I'm not sure if the spirituality of that experience quite reached me like it was supposed to. I had fried beef on the brain when I really should have been thinking of my fellow man.)
(By the way, if any of you are interested, here is a really good LINK to an article that describes the Lenten season. It describes things like Ash Wednesday--which was yesterday, and which we celebrated with trying to explain to Sydney what the ash cross on her forehead meant--and Maundy Thursday and other rituals of the season.)
Do any of you celebrate Lent? Did you "go crazy" on Fat Tuesday, or plan on giving anything up for Lent? If you were to give something up, what would it be?