Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What's the Point of Giving Up Things For Lent?

A plate-full of virtue

Cheese - A major temptation
I've never been really good at giving up things for Lent. 

Oh, I was better at it when I was young.  But now that I'm old, giving up things for Lent just leads me to a dismal sense of failure. My good intentions evaporate after only a few hours of resolve.

Salad maybe a virtue - but
please pass the cheese

But last year, I had an epiphany. I came to the realization that my whole life was routinely about giving up stuff.

To control my weight, I had already given up cake, ice cream and candy.

To keep our household finances in check, I had given up impulse buying and using my credit card.

To stay healthy, I had already given up fun stuff like eating saturated fat, staying up late, high heeled shoes and jumbo lattes with extra cream.

So, I asked myself, what there was left to give up for lent?  I had to have some reason for living.  Then came the epiphany.  Instead of giving up something for Lent, I would DO something for Lent.  A truly freeing moment!

So, each day, I did a little something - not much - just a little something more than I typically did.

Sometimes doing something
for Lent is better than
giving up something
for Lent
I walked the dog five minutes longer.

When the cat wrapped herself around my legs, I picked her up and gave her a nuzzle.

I vacuumed my husband's car, weeded a flower bed I had been avoiding, sorted my old books and took a bag to the library re-sale shop.

I even called an elderly aunt who was difficult to talk to.

By the time Easter Sunday came around, I felt re-born.   I think that's the real reason for Lent.

1 comment:

Di-Anne said...

Karla---I'm 100% behind you. Evey Lent the "something" I do is try to be extra pleasant/efficient and accommodating to the 2 men in my husband & my boss. They really seem to appreciate it---although my boss would like Lent to be more than 40 days!!