So this isn’t turning out to be as easy as I thought it would be.
Giving up something specifically during the season of Lent has never been part of my religious practice. But I decided to try it this year. Having already attempted to eliminate most of the frivolity and foolishness in my life, I struggled to figure out what I should give up. I settled on dumping my habit of commenting on a political message board, and going along with the Not a Cent in Lent thing Cherie is doing, which means buying nothing other than absolute necessities.
Should be easy, right?
Well all day Wednesday I fretted and squirmed over things I felt I just HAD to post on that message board. I ran across tidbits of news that seemed VERY important to discussions going on there. I had insights that just DEMANDED immediate publication. I tried to rationalize my way out of my commitment, just long enough to let me link a new poll, or deliver a witty repartee. It was driving me nuts.
So I realized that just giving up posting on that board isn’t good enough. I have to give up reading it too. And I have to give up reading things like it. I have to give up caring so much about the skirmishing. I will broaden my fast.
But surely giving up the unnecessary buying would be a breeze…
Then my ipod died. It’s just about the only gadget I own, and I like to listen to a song or two on it before bed. And it died. It died on the night Lent began and the very day I pledged not to buy anything unnecessary until Easter.
My lawyer-brain immediately began trying to construct an argument that exempted ipods from my vow, or that somehow make an ipod a necessity.
But I was busted. No ipod till Easter.
Of course these are trivial offerings in a season that celebrates such profound sacrifice. But at least I’m feeling it more now.
I did a little reading yesterday on traditional Lent practices. I’ve decided to incorporate some more of them into what I’m doing.
So I won’t eat any meat on Fridays, and, if possible I’ll fast altogether. For other reasons, I’ve already quit eating any meat other than seafood, unless I raised it myself. But I’ll broaden that for the season.
Publishing this commitment makes it more likely that I’ll keep it.
And hopefully these little sacrifices will cause me to reflect on the truly important ones.