I’m not a diabetic, but I eat like one.
I’m not much of a believer in Rhonda Byrne’s “Secret,” but I often practice the power of positive thinking.
I’m not an athlete, but I work out regularly.
I’m not a vegetarian either, but I eat a mostly plant-based diet.
I am, however, a Catholic. But I rarely go to church, and when I do, I don’t understand half of the motions I’m going through, and I have never sacrificed anything for Lent … until now.
This past Sunday I attended a mass on a whim, my pathetic attempt to—dare I say— “check-in.” I usually take the hour to daydream, plan out the rest of my day, or worry about the upcoming week. But this time was different. At one point, the priest asked each one of us to come up and take a pebble from the “desert” display near the altar. We are to keep the pebble throughout the Lent season (which ends Easter Sunday) as a reminder to resist the temptation of indulging in whatever it is that we are giving up for 40 days.
This is one of the traditions I have never fully understood. How is giving up chocolate for a few weeks going to better the world? If anything, it will only make me more cranky and difficult to be around, right?
But then again, I like a good challenge. And I always feel a little stronger every time I complete one. So I thought, why not? I have the pebble … But what to give up? It needs to be something I enjoy almost every day. Coffee? Never gonna happen. Gum? No. (How would I cover up my coffee breath?) Diet soda? Hmmm … I do love diet soda, especially in the afternoon. Just hearing the can crack open makes my mouth water. This would definitely be a challenge.
And so it’s on. I don’t think my boycotting of soft drinks for 40 days will change the world, but it will change me. I will be well trained in resisting temptation and be a stronger person for it, or so I’m hoping. And oh how sweet that first sip will taste come Easter.
Have you ever sacrificed something you enjoy in order to experience personal growth?