For many people, Lent is a time to give something up. Three of the reasons we do this is to 1) practice self-control, 2) to identify with Jesus’ suffering, and 3) to reflect on our wrongdoings.
Now typically, I do not give up something for Lent. I play the “I’m not Catholic so I don’t have to” card. While completely valid, this year I found making an excuse to escape a little lesson in self control to be ridiculous. I decided to give up a couple of items that I love more than breathing: chips and popcorn. Now you may say, “love more than breathing? You are nuts” and I would say “Yes I am.” Eating Doritos wouldn’t be so bad if I ate a small amount during the day, but I tend to eat half the bag late at night. I am what you might call an emotional eater. Often I am not even hungry nor will eating those chips fill any sadness that I may be feeling at that moment. Nonetheless, it is what I do. Giving chips and popcorn up for me will mean quite a lot to me and my faith walk. Instead of eating the chips, I will remember why I am not. I will remember that I able to be sitting there not eating Spicy Nacho Doritos because Jesus Christ suffered on a cross for me. While at some of my weakest moments I may think that I am suffering just as much as He did, I will know that I am not. I will think about my day and about the moments I denied Him, about the times where I swore, or did not respect myself, or ignored His beautiful sun because the snow piles are still taller than me. I will not each chips or popcorn because I am taking those moments in my day to savor His creations.
Along with giving something up at Lent, many people try to take something up during this time. Some reasons for doing this include 1) to address personal habits they do not like, 2) to introduce acts of service or outreach, and 3) to simply make more time for God.
While I am eating no chips or popcorn, I will be adding something to my life – this here blog! I go through phases of my life where i blog a lot, blog a little, or can barely remember the name of my blog. Despite that, I love to blog and I want to keep track of what is going on in my life. Especially right now as grad school is just beginning and marriage is becoming more and more exciting. While blogging will help me remember what I did on this day at this time in my life, I am hoping that it will remind me to reflect on the blessings I have received on this day at this time in my life. God is everywhere. He is in everything. Every choice I make and every action I take needs to be focused on Him.
This all being said, I am sure there are many of you that are giving up or adding something for Lent. I wish you all the best of luck and please remember who we are doing this for.