Friday, February 08, 2008

Things I won't be giving up for Lent because they pose more of an indirect threat to others than they help me put in a good word with Jesus:

1. Coffee
2. Gluten
3. Television
4. Alcohol
5. Insulin injections*
6. Nonviolence

For most of my childhood, I thought that Lent was the period of time when you stopped eating chocolate. Once I got a little older, I learned from watching my mom that Lent is actually the time when you alternated between giving up chocolate and wine, except on Fridays, which didn't count. I don't think I learned that you can actually choose what to give up until I went to Catholic high school. I guess my mom just thought none of us could possibly get into heaven with the amount of chocolate we all ate.

I've never actually given up anything successfully for all of Lent. In part, this is because I don't see what it accomplishes. Any food I give up will always have the ulterior motive of losing a couple pounds, and that's not very God-fearing, because vanity is actually one of the commandments if I recall correctly. If I gave up coffee for a few weeks, I would get a little Certificate of Achievement and I might feel good for accomplishing such a feat, but I would also be pretty bitchy to everyone. Until I find something to give up that will not be indirectly harming other people or myself, I think I will just try being nicer to people so Jesus doesn't have to pretend like He's happy to see me.

*Okay, so I'm not actually a diabetic. It's a good idea that diabetics don't give this up for Lent, though.

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