Good day, everyone.
Well, Lent has been an interesting time so far. You remember at the beginning my husband and I agreed to give up junk food - chocolate, cake, cookies, soda, chips, etc. This is the first time I've done anything like this so I thought I'd share my journey a bit. Does anyone out there have a Lent story they'd like to share in the comment section?
I think the greatest challenge so far during this season has been the grocery store. We Americans sure have it good, you know? Seems like every time I turn the corner in the store junk food is staring me down. Calling. Yesterday, Mike and I went to Walmart after work to pick up some bread and veggies for spaghetti sauce. I told him that I would get the bread, not thinking that the bread was in the bakery section. Oh my! What treasures met my eyes. I had to keep looking away from the beautifully decorated cupcakes, the chocolate chip cookies and, oh - how cute! - shamrock sugar cookies. It was almost too much, especially when I saw that there were cake samples.
And then an action from the book we're reading, Lent and Easter: Wisdom from Saint Benedict came to mind.
It said: "(Saint Benedict's Rule) recognizes that a healthy human being does not give into every desire for pleasure. Consider denying yourself some little pleasures throughout this season ... Take note of these things that you would like to do or have but can do without and, as you pass them by, say a prayer for the greater awareness of God, and God's suffering children, at that moment."
So, I prayed, as I passed the cupcakes by that God would be with all those kids who didn't have food to eat. Suddenly, my desire for sweets was not that important.
This morning, Mike and I were talking about Lent and he mentioned that we had it pretty easy if we were "suffering" from giving up junk food and I agreed. However, sacrificing for Lent means more than that. It's also a time to bring yourself under God's control and a time to practice a little self-control. We really do this for our spiritual welfare, not to lose pounds or make ourselves miserable. It gives us a chance to concentrate on better things.
Therefore, joy is completely possible without chocolate.
Did I just say that??
Last week Mike joked about giving up coffee during Lent next year. Hmmm ... that's something I'll really have to think about.