Ash Wednesday & Lenten sacrifices

This time of year is always a struggle. The weather makes me so despondent and life gets pretty mundane. In the middle of this deadbeat winter is Ash Wednesday and the only slightly more frivolous Valentine’s Day. So to kick off the Lent season, spice up my mundane life, and rekindle my spiritual life I think it’s appropriate to sacrifice something.

Lent has always confused me. I remember my friends and I used to make unbelievably unrealistic goals (new year, new me) to stop cursing, stop eating junk food, ice cream, candy, and keep our rooms clean. We hung up our goals on construction paper as a reminder of the sacrifice we were making for Jesus Christ our savior. With such superficial intentions we inevitably broke our promises within the first week. After years of the same cycle, I realized the futility and meaninglessness of these promises, and I stopped making them all together.

Fast forward a few years and I had matured and gained a little more understanding of my place on earth. Starting 3 years ago, I started making Lenten sacrifices again. Two years ago I gave up facebook, but I failed after a few weeks. Last year I gave up chicken,and I actually never ate chicken for the 40 days of lent. And chicken has always been a food staple for me; I eat chicken at least 5 times per week. This year, to be even more hardcore, I decided to give up meat altogether. Gasp, I know. How can one cut out a food group? It’s the second day, and except for the time 30 minutes ago when the student I tutor started eating a burger in front of a hungry me, I don’t find it that difficult. And to get to my point now, I don’t find it difficult to give up anything material (except phone and computer because life would be really hard without those). I could give up any food easily. I was considering giving up rice, but I figured I would probably miss meat more. I guess this also says something about the society we live in and the resources that are so abundant to us. Even if you cut certain foods from your diet, it’s so easy to find substitutes because we have available any type of food you could imagine. It amazes me how blessed I am. How I have nearly everything imaginable at arm’s reach. Initially difficult sacrifices soon lose weight because of the wealth of resources available to me. Everything about my life is so adaptable that regardless of what change I make, I can mold my way back to comfort within a short amount of time. I guess this could all change very easily which is why I’m trying not to take anything for granted.

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