It begins today… the sacrifice, or in the end it may be defined ~ madness!
Having grown up Catholic, I was always challenged to give up something very near and dear to me, during the days of Lent. This practice started for me when I was in grade school. You see, I attended a Catholic elementary school. This ritual of giving something up or sacrificing, as it was defined, was not an option, it was a must. Just what would I give up?
Now, being around ten-years old, just what kind of vices or luxuries did I have to give up? I remember suggesting that I would give up homework; that was quickly vetoed. Then I suggested that I would give up being nice to my younger brother. After the gut-wrenching laughter came to an end, I was told to try again, and this time to be serious. In all honesty, I couldn’t come up with a single thing, and that was a big mistake on my part; it opened the door for my parents to assist/urge me in my decision. This was the first time that I ever truly thought that my parents were crazy ~ the out-of-their-mind kind of crazy. They had suggested that I give up candy!
Candy to me at ten-years of age was the equivalent to my current addiction: Diet Coke. I said it ~ an addiction! So there you have it; Diet Coke must go! Now, I have to ask myself if making this sacrifice is a wise idea ~ I love my family! Who really is going to suffer here; me, with my afternoon craving, or the family members that will learn to avoid me and my irritation at just about everything?
Youngest Daughter has some extreme doubt that I can pull this off. She said that she will be checking our recycle bin for evidence; not to mention, the recycle bins of our neighbors. Now, have I taught her nothing? I have a shovel and a backyard with a garden…. Hmm ~ seems as though some planting will be taking place! Also, I’m going to have to train the Scruffster to refrain from digging up any buried treasure. No, seriously… I CAN DO THIS!
To top it off, I’m giving up chocolate as well!!!!!! Now, who is the out-of-her-mind kind of crazy??????? If you know me at all, you are probably shaking your head, wishing hope for my family, or thinking… no way in Hell!
No doubt that this is going to be tough for me; I depend on these items WAY TOO MUCH!
Maybe in the absence of my Diet Coke, which equals water to me, or the chocolate that might as well be my oxygen, I’ll fill the void that their absence creates with something more positive. Instead of griping about what I can’t have, I’ll focus on what I can and do have ~ and be thankful.
Something tells me that the feeling of gratitude, for all that He gave up for me and my sins, will take over and make my sacrifices look rather minuscule.
Over the years, Lent has come to mean much more than giving up candy; it is a time of preparation. For me, it is a time to seek forgiveness, a time to focus on prayer, a time to sacrifice, and a time to extend more kindness; hoping that all of these will become more of a daily way of living, rather than just for the forty days of Lent.
If you observe Lent, what does it mean to you? Do you sacrifice anything, or do you focus on a positive behavior?
I’m curious; let me know in the “Share your thoughts~” section.