It is interesting to me that so many people seem to observe Lent (or at least the fasting part of it), even those who don’t generally practice other religious disciplines or rituals. In our consumer world, self-denial is completely counter-cultural. Maybe there is a way that fasting during Lent meets a yearning we have for freedom from the many addictions, escapes, and distractions around us.
I have never observed Lent before. Though I grew up going to church, Lent was not one of the traditions practiced with my family or church community. In the past few years, I wanted to observe Lent, but seemed to keep missing it by a few days. I would discover that it was Lent when it was already partway into the period, and by then it just seemed too late to begin.
This year, I finally remembered Lent in time. I am fasting from dessert and alcohol. Call me crazy, but I figured that if I’m going to practice the art of self-denial, why not go the full measure. I am a relatively disciplined person, but after only one day I can already feel the loss.
I am dreaming about the chocolate and red wine fest I am going to throw myself on Easter. If that doesn’t sound like a good way to celebrate Jesus, I don’t know what is.
What are you giving up for Lent?