February 25, 2009
image: Candy (cc) terren in Virginia
I've never observed Lent. I'm not Catholic, nor was I raised in a family or culture that practiced the observation. I'm also generally anti-tradition, since the idea of "going through the motions" in order to gain some kind of elevated status grates against my sensibilities.
However... I recently heard a friend refer to Lent as an opportunity to demonstrate to yourself and to those around you that you are not mastered by the things which you consume. And as I think about the things in my life that do control me, those are the areas in my life I would like to expose and eliminate until I can demonstrate a sense of control over those things.
So, the first step here is revealing the things that master me. It's a public confession of sorts:
1. I am powerless over sodas. Pepsi, in particular, but I'll drink any beverage that's full of refined sugars.
2. I am powerless over sweets, especially fruity candy. But truth be told, I'll throw back a box of breath mints if they're in front of me.
For this year's observation of Lent, I will be abstaining from sodas, fruit juices, sweets, or anything containing refined sugars meant to be consumed as a "sweet treat." Again, this isn't an opportunity to show what great steps of holiness I'm taking. Rather, it's an opportunity to expose my weaknesses, so that my willingness to master my consumption (rather than having it master me) can be an encouragement to others.