“Lent is a time when many Christians prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting ,repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. The purpose is to set aside time for reflection on Jesus Christ – his suffering and his sacrifice, his life, death, burial and resurrection.” (About.com).
When I was a kid Lent meant giving up something difficult to show God your love for him-making small sacrifices for Him. This of course contradicted my Grandpa Corrigan’s desire to give up watermelon and strawberries for Lent–two fruits not usually in season in our part of the country. Joking aside I always gave up dark chocolate-as I was allergic to the yummy confection. To this day, every time I see white chocolate I’m reminded of the Solid White Chocolate Easter bunny I received in my basket each year. Blech!
The doll informed me a full month before Lent began, her desire to give up meat for the full 40 days-not just on Fridays. “Okay…” I said, though thinking to myself, “This will be more difficult than she imagines-given how much she hates vegetables. As Ash Wednesday approached she began to waffle… “Mom, instead of meat how about something else…” “Like what?” I asked. “I don’t know, how about chicken or turkey?” She suggested. “Doll, maybe you shouldn’t give up a food protein how about candy or cookies and such..” I replied. “Mom, for shame!! I’m not giving up candy and deserts-no way!” “Well doll, the whole idea for Lent is to make a sacrifice…to correspond to the awesome sacrifice Christ made for us…” I reasoned. “I know…but meat is just way too hard.” “Well find something you think will work…” I suggested and our conversation came to an end.
The boy and I made a pact to give up cussing/swearing and instituted a swear jar-in the event we mess up: .25 cents per swear word, unless its the F word. That constitutes $1.00. “Mom, do you realized how difficult not saying a swear word is?” the boy asked me the other day. “You’re preaching to the choir boy” I said in return. “You’re only 15 and you know better than to use those words…” I explained. “…versus me, who’s own lexicon has been rooted in using those colorful superlatives since I was your age or younger”. I found an old pickle jar and set it on the counter, big and bright for all to see. The doll has been trying to institute a swear jar into our home for years; primarily because she believes that’s an easy way for her to make money. Once I decided to give up swearing for Lent however, I designated the swear jar money go to charity. Currently the jar holds a large amount of change, a single $1 bill and and a $20 IOU for the weekend from me. I figured this would cover me for an additional day to two…maybe.
The doll looked at me with a longing ache in her eyes. “What are you doing?” I asked. “I miss my Kindle…” she informed. “Wha? Oh you gave up your Kindle for Lent?” I asked. “Yes…and I miss it” she informed. I thought to myself that was a good choice for her-a sacri–“Hey, wait a minute…did you give up your Ipod as well?” “No, why would I do that?” she replied. “Doll, your Ipod has the same capabilities as your Kindle…that’s not really giving up anything” I explained. “I’m giving up a larger screen!” she informed and left the room, presumably in fear I would make her give up the Ipod too.
Hmm what good followers of Lent we all are. The boy is the only one who seems to be following through…while the doll found a loophole for hers. I came to realize Friday night while talking to a friend that the only way I will make it through Lent without cussing is to sit in a room by myself for the next 40 days-not talking to anyone. Since this is an unlikely scenario, at least some charity is going to get a lot of money from me…which may be the best sacrifice after all.