Typically I don’t give up anything for Lent. I usually convince myself that Lent should be about good works vs self deprivation. I’m also not a big believer in abstaining from meat on Fridays. I’ve always thought that treating oneself to a Friday fish fry at the local church including downing a few beers was defeating the intent of the abstinence rule.
After spending nearly a week in Florida during which I indulged in overpriced food and drink, I decided a bit of self deprivation was in order. In this spirit I have decided to make no purchases on my behalf, excluding food and personal care items ie. shampoo and soap. By food I mean that which I can prepare at home. No lunches out or pop out of the vending machine. No trips to Red Lobster for the all you can eat shrimp fest for me.
In the four days since the pledge, I have stopped myself only a couple of times. It was easy enough not to put the 50 cents into the communal pop collection at work and grab a diet coke, however, today I was truly tested by a collection of incredibly cute flip flops at Walgreens. I’m talking really cute in every color and style imaginable. These were the type that one would find at Kohls for $15. They were priced between $6-$10. Wouldn’t it be a sin not to take advantage of this great deal? I won’t even go into the items on the clearance rack I coveted and finally walked away from.
Now, can I compare my suffering to that of Jesus in the desert? Of course not. I have though, for the first time in several years, gotten a taste of the true meaning behind the concept of giving something up for Lent. I figure by the time Easter rolls around it will be closer to flip flop season anyway. To all, a blessed and faith filled Lenten journey.