Thursday, February 26, 2009

Okay...I Give Up...

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, which begins the Christian liturgical season of Lent. Each year during Lent, my husband gives up 2 things, that being chocolate and eating after 9 pm at night. This is particularly hard for him because he is not always home from work before 9 pm and he really likes chocolate. In fact, a couple years ago after the winter thaw and the season of Lent, he found a small piece of Halloween chocolate in the yard, and he promptly picked it up and, without any thought, unwrapped and ate it!

This year I'd like to deepen my relationship with God and Christ, and join my husband in his practice of sacrifice... but what would I give up??? I considered many things… eating between meals, desserts, junk food, fast food, ebay, Facebook or impulse buying of fabric, yarn and scrapbook paper. Nothing seemed right, so I eagerly asked the women at my weekly bible study how they observe Lent. Surprisingly, not many women in attendance practice a Lenten fast outside of giving up chocolate, soda or Girl Scout Cookies. These ideas, all worthy in my eyes, should be a given for me, as a “practicing” Weight Watcher. Then it was suggested to me that I could add a something to my regular routine instead of giving something up. Hmm... what would that be? Additional bible study, prayer, meditation? Lastly, it was suggested that since I knit, I could knit a scarf and donate it to a charity. Or I could make a quilt and donate it. But, I did a lot of charity knitting last fall, and I make donation quilts for Habitat for Humanity. I wanted this to be something different, something special, something right.

So here is what I decided. When I am errand running, it is often a treat for me to drive through a certain popular coffee chain for a latte or tea. My forty days will be marked by fasting from these stops and tallying the urges for said stop. I will sum the tallies and multiply them times $4. Post Easter, the total will be given in kind to a charity. I will also commit to make more time for prayer and focus on gratitude in an effort to draw closer to God, and just maybe that will carry on for more than 40 days.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 – Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Jesus Christ.

Tally = 2
Passing up a latte from you-know-where this afternoon wasn’t a huge sacrifice, but it did offer time for reflection on why I made this deal.

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