Friday, March 16, 2012

A time of sacrifice

I didn't grow up Catholic so we didn't really participate in the Lent season leading up to Easter.  A number of my friends were Catholic and part of me was a little jealous that our church didn't officially participate and when the Lenten season returned and those friends chose not to eat meat on Fridays or couldn't do this or that because they had given it up for Lent.

A few times I gave something up, but not for the right reasons.  This year I wanted to make a sacrifice, one that would challenge me and cause me to lean in to God.  Our small group, through our church, decided we would all give up something in an effort to hold ourselves more accountable.  On the Sunday before Ash Wednesday, there was mention of the original intentions of Lent in the sermon.  Traditionally people "give up," something for Lent.  The reason for this was that in giving up breads or other food item, people gained more time (not spent cooking) to devote to God.  So my plan to give up sweets (which would indeed be a giant sacrifice), I decided, was not enough.

In addition to giving up sweets, Nate and I decided that for an hour (minimum) each day, we would give up all electronics (distractions).  The purpose of it was not meant to set a timer and turn off cell phones, TV, computers etc., but to have at least an hour a day, together without worldly distractions.  In just a few weeks of our Lenten season, we have spent so much more quality time together, focused on each other.  We have played cards, talked, done things around the house and on one occasion we got into a heated game of Trivial Pursuit that lasted until after midnight and the winner is yet to be decided.

I imagine this will be a tradition that sticks around long after we celebrate Easter, though I can't say I will permanently give up sweets.

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