Eugene Cho has a powerful reminder:
We are now in the Lenten season and let me begin by sharing outright that Lent isn’t about you or about what you’re giving up. But we’ll get to that soon.
For those that might not be familiar with Lent, it is the 40 day period (not including Sundays) between Ash Wednesday and Holy Saturday that has traditionally been a time of preparation for those who were preparing for baptism and later expanded to include the larger Christian community. It marks a time of prayer, penance, repentance, humility, self-denial, and soul searching as one draws closer to the Passion of Christ and ultimately, culminating in the celebration of the Resurrection….
I appreciate the Lenten season for many and various reasons. This year, I’m choosing – along with some other things – to give up “coffee” during the Lent season. Trust me, for someone that runs a cafe, has his offices in a cafe, and has access to free Stumptown coffee whenever I want, this will certainly be a “test” of self-denial.
But even after acknowledging that I myself am “giving up” coffee during Lent, I’m ambivalent and reticent about how vogue or easy it is to give something up during Lent. Umm, especially when it’s something like chocolate, sodas, sugar, Facebook, Twitter, television, and – umm – coffee.
I don’t want to knock those who give stuff up. Not at all. Go for it. More power to you.
Or in other words, I wonder if God might have these words for me (and for you if I may be so audacious):
“Umm, I didn’t ask you to give up coffee. I asked you to give up your life to me.”