It seems rather popular now to start announcing the various things that people are giving up for Lent. Here is a list of things I will not be giving up starting this Ash Wednesday.
Coffee. Even if I somehow thought that the absence of coffee in my life would equal a greater spiritual awakening, I just don't know if it's really worth giving up something so sweet and delicious. I'm fairly sure - though not completely certain - that my body could handle cutting caffeine cold turkey. But even if my body survived the sudden chemical imbalance I would still miss the sweet smell, the warmth of a fresh cup, the coolness of whipped cream on my lips, and the satisfaction of a decent caffeine buzz.
Facebook. I could be completely cliché and give up Facebook. Just like everyone else. But let's be honest, I would still be checking up secretly from my iPad and getting email updates to my phone all the time. Just like everyone else.
Television. Alright, there are a few problems with this one. First of all, my parents were very generous and just recently bought me a decently sized flat screen TV and I am very proud of it and plan on using it as much as possible. Second of all, I only get one channel! I'm not really sure that giving up reruns from the 1960's really underscores the spirit behind the Lenten season.
Sugar. OK, so here's the first viable candidate for something to sacrifice for forty days. It's like a diet with a spiritual excuse. I could probably lose a good amount of weight just by cutting down on sugar alone. It's not like I haven't done it before. In fact, I once went 9 months solid on the infamous Atkins diet, limiting my carbohydrate intake to less than 20 grams a day. So I know I'm totally capable of it. Plus, too much sugar gives me gas. That right there is reason enough, right?
So maybe my intentions are not quite so pure but that's just my own personal problem with Lent. I think it's a great practice for those who are sincere in sacrificing in preparation to observe the sacrifice of Christ and his resurrection celebrated through Easter. I've just never been so intrigued by it. And maybe some day I'll feel compelled to participate. Just not this year.
Alright, so I feel a little better getting that off my chest. In fact, I'm willing to entertain the idea of actually sacrificing something for forty days. But let's take it to a vote: What do you think I need to give up for Lent?