Giving Up for Lent
The religious season of Lent began on Wednesday. This is a time of preparation for the celebration of Easter marked by prayer and fasting in some form. It is customary for people who observe Lent to give up something as a sacrifice. In the past, some of the things I’ve given up have included chocolate, sugar, TV, wine, and social media.
Charli gave up junk food this year. So I probably shouldn’t have kept asking her to try the amazing green chile peanut brittle Chip brought back from New Mexico yesterday.
I’m going to be honest about my struggle right now — I don’t want to give up anything this year. On any given day, I’m afraid the very thing I’ve given up could be the thing that I’ve looked forward to or that will provide some semblance of comfort.
Yes, I know that my ultimate comfort is in the Lord. And probably if I gave up something that is important to me, I would draw closer to God during this season. I’m not trying to be selfish or rebellious or entitled. I just can’t wrap my mind around giving something up for 40 days. I will fast during Lent, just not for 40 days. Right now, 40 days seems like forever to me.
I thought about giving up shopping — another thing I’ve given up in the past. But right now, one of my simple pleasures is finding the right pillow for the reading chair or the right paint color for the bathroom.
In the deepest recesses of my soul, maybe I feel like God took my son, so I don’t want to give up anything for Him during Lent. I don’t think that’s the case, but I’m not above it.
I could give up something that I don’t even care about — that would be easy. No steamed vegetables and liver. No pre-dawn 5-mile runs. No binge-watching Baywatch.
Maybe during the next 36 days, it will come clear to me something I need to give up, to sacrifice. I pray for the ears to hear and the grace to carry it out.
I’m just going to keep doing my best — this moment, this hour, this day. I trust that in the Lord’s grace and compassion, He will let me know if I need a course correction.
Maybe in a way, I’m giving up the need to do something to earn God’s grace. Just a thought.