I had an interesting conversation with my daughter last night about the upcoming Lenten Season. I explained to her that during Lent some people give something up for the 40 days until Easter Sunday, a sacrifice of sorts. I started to suggest what I might give up, and our conversation went like this…
“I’m thinking about giving up chocolate”
“Oh my God, Mom, you could never give up chocolate! Why don’t you give up soda?”
“I don’t drink soda”
And she said, “I know, so it will be easy.”
Apparently I didn’t explain this well enough.
The point of Lent is to give up something that is truly a sacrifice, but if I really wanted to do that I would give up something even more difficult than chocolate…my Starbucks tea. Just the suggestion of that causes me to hyperventilate. I don’t think I could do it, which is precisely why I should.
Anything can become an unhealthy attachment. Once I “need” anything, it’s controlling me. But there is so much more to the tea than just a beverage. I spoke of this in my previous blog post A Crutch is a Crutch. My daily (or twice daily) trip to Starbucks reminds me that I am part of a community. It gives me an identity and giving that up means standing on my own.
But isn’t that the point? To give up our worldy attachments? I suppose the real point of Lent is less about the 40 day sacrifice and more about leaving behind old ways, and moving forward as a new creation. It’s about learning to lean on God.
So over the next week, I have a decision to make. Do I give up soda, that’s easy. Do I give up chocolate, more of a struggle, but definitely possible, or do I give up my beloved tea and all that it represents in my life?
Of course I could bypass the Lenten season and all the stress of sacrificing anything…after all, I’m not even Catholic.