For many of us who profess to be Christians (often a dangerous journey), Lent looms at the end of a cold winter before anything green has sprung above the icy snow gripping my meadow and gardens. It seems cruel to think about giving up anything when the whole experience of winter is basically--giving things up: being warm, going for long walks with your dog, sitting on your deck sipping crisp wine, all of those things which make being human such a festive occasion.
Instead, 7-8 pounds heavier than I was in October, possibly drinking two glasses of wine per night instead of one, and inhabiting a snarky space with my spouse which is bad for my soul, I hit Lent. Like a car going up an already rocky road, suddenly I hit the pothole that is Lent. The car shudders. I shudder with it.
"Give something up? You must be kidding!" What happened to checking into a Day Spa instead, sending around for gourmet take-out, and having people come for in-house massages? What happened to a religion which professed THAT as a spiritual practice? I could really get behind that.
Instead, we are faced with the giving-up thingy--be it chocolate, books from Amazon.com, criticizing our friends, gossiping, indulging in retail therapy, whatever is your particular drug of choice to get through winter. I have taken on a rather large deprivation for the next 6 (six! my mind screams) weeks--no wine drinking. Period. Take the money I spend per week on wine and give it to the Survival Center. Sounds good, right? That could buy a lot of diapers and baby formula.
By untying myself from this attachment to delicious white wines (sigh), I think and hope to tie myself more closely to the God I worship. I hope that my small effort to peel away something that is truly not needed in my life in order to give out more to people who truly are in need, I will be following The Way. Just a little bit more.
I'll let you know how this goes. Self-discipline is not something I shine at. I do love my wine, but think it is time to be more disciplined about the whole thing. At the end of 6 weeks (6 weeks!) I shall be thinner, possibly purer, maybe closer to God, and definitely, certainly more cranky.