Wednesday, February 09, 2005

I Give Up!

Today we start the season of giving up . . . not in the cry-Uncle-please-stop-torturing-me-type-of-giving-up but instead the stop-this-for-a-while-and-consider-God-instead kind. I've been toying with what my offering might be this year.

I considered several of the familiar options . . . some kind of food or drink. I listened as friends described theirs -- the radio in the morning on the drive to work, chocolate. And I even toyed with the yeah-right variety . . . as in giving up the nonexistent sex in my life.

But I've determined that for me it's all about really focusing. And many of the possibilities wouldn't necessarily insure that I replace thoughts of IT with thoughts on God. That's why I've determined that it has to be a daily exercise that I'm sure to do and sure to notice not doing. So . . . M's candy dish in the front foyer and the nuts/raisins/M&M bowl in the break room are now officially off limits to me during the days of Lent.

A friend who is new to some of the practices of the Christian calendar asked what all the fuss was about and wasn't this whole giving-up-thing a bit too over the top. I found myself explaining with a great deal of passion that to give up something familiar and replace it with a focus on God -- if only for a few moments a day -- was an incredible experience. And in the midst of the explanation I knew that Lent isn't just an empty ancient ritual. There's meaning in the absence of . . . (in my case) sweetness, and I plan on enjoying each morsel.


Finding the Happy said...

Does the ushering out during the Lenten season automatically invite the Sacred to reside in the void? As you've expressed, the giving up is but part of the ritual. Without an ushering in, we cheat ourselves of the entire experience and a place at the banquet table lavish with soul food.

KC said...