Believe it or not, Ash Wednesday kind of snuck up on me this year. I didn't even realize that yesterday was Mardi Gras until late yesterday evening. In years past, I've spent time prior to Lent thinking about something to give up for 40 days. This year I didn't pay attention to the calendar and am completely unprepared.
Last night, I read an article that had been posted by a couple new Facebook friends. It discusses the meaning behind the season of Lent and the purpose of making a sacrifice. Feel free to click over to Relevant magazine to read for yourself.
So today is Ash Wednesday and, as of this morning, I still had not determined anything to give up. I feel like I'm arriving late to this particular party. So I spent most of the day trying to come up with something.
Last year I gave up fast food for Lent. It seems cheap to do that again. Also, it wouldn't be a great sacrifice this time around. Thanks to the attempt at eating healthier over the last few months, my instances of hitting the drive-thru have been fewer and farther between.
I could stop being sarcastic. Then again, no I couldn't. That whole humor-as-a-defense-mechanism thing sort of turns the sarcasm into a reflexive response. Just telling people I'm giving up sarcasm for Lent would come off as sarcastic.
On the news this morning, they shared a list of the most popular things that people give up. Some of these include meat, chocolate, alcohol, Facebook, swearing and sodas.
I could do without meat. But since I'm not exactly a vegetable's biggest fan, it would just about mean giving up food altogether. I don't like chocolate, so that's no sacrifice. I only drink on the rarest of occasions, so giving up alcohol would be pointless. I could definitely live without Facebook, but I use it to publicize the blog, so I'd be way too tempted to use it for personal purposes as well.
Back in college, I gave up sodas. Looking back, I have no idea how I did it. I'm so addicted to caffeine, I just don't know how I'd make it through the first few days. Which is probably exactly why I should choose that. Giving up something for Lent isn't meant to be an easy thing. It's not a sacrifice if it doesn't cost something, if it doesn't cause us to lean on God to help us through it. But it may be too late to start that one since I had a soda at lunch today.
Are you giving anything up for Lent? Does it feel like a real sacrifice?