So I struggled with what to sacrifice for Lent this year. I’ve done sodas, sugar, sleep, various food products, etc. Actually, when I first started giving up something for Lent (about 15 years ago) it was almost always a food item. I think it was because anyone I had ever heard of giving up something for Lent had always given up food items–soda, chocolate, salt, meat–and I didn’t understand enough about it to get that it could be anything. So this year I really struggled. I gave up sodas about seven years ago, but now I don’t really drink them (almost as a direct result of that year). I somehow felt that food’s were trivial. That God was telling me that food wasn’t important enough to me to be a sacrifice, and then to focus that time in service. I pondered this for weeks, trying to determine exactly what I was supposed to be sacrificing.
And then I figured it out.
I wasn’t too far off when I said time. Granted, last time it was really more of the snooze bar, so that I could go to the gym. But I just cancelled my gym membership effective March 1, so that’s not going to work. Instead, I realized (well not really, I’ve known it for a long time) that if I come home and plop on the couch, I’m not going to get anything else done in that evening. So I told myself that Monday through Friday, when I get home, the TV cannot turn on until 9pm or later. This may prove to be particularly difficult on Fridays, as I get home by 115 in the afternoon, and Saturdays I have yet to determine the parameters (but trust me there will be some–I’m thinking no tv between 10 and 6) but so far this has actually made a difference. Granted it’s only day 2, but it is. Yesterday I finally got a bunch of laundry done and sorted my bills for the first time in five weeks. Today I got my 2012 tax information together, cleaned out a cupboard, and kept going on my VHS to DVD project.
And yes, I prayed more. I thought about what I was doing, and thought about why we do this thing called sacrifice. And I think that this might be a worthy journey for me over the remaining 38 days. Not to say that I don’t plan on purging after Easter (have you seen the 31 days of Oscar lineup on TCM? I mean come on!), but it will be a valuable lesson and who knows–like my soda habit, maybe this will declare some new habits for me as well.