It’s a bit more than a week since Lent began. But the vaguely lighter feeling that modest sacrifice generates is still warm. And I don’t feel particularly ‘without.’ Perhaps I should have picked something more important…
In the past, I’ve given up most of the things listed: chocolate and coffee more than once. Since I no longer drink, alcohol isn’t an option. And not drinking really includes sodas, as they’re not one of my favourite things.
I do swear too much, but I’m trying to give that up completely. And it’s noo sacrifice, just a lazy bad habit. Ergo, no offering up involved. Same with fast food & sugar — I wouldn’t miss them, as they’re not big draws now.
The point for non-Christians following Lent seems to me to cultivate empathy & compassion for the many without, as I’ve written before. I understand it’s far more complex an observance for Christians, but I see it as a way for me to remember how lucky I am to have my life, just as it is.
This past week I had the amazing good fortune to listen to several men & women discussing how the Holocaust impacted their lives, their families’ lives (& deaths). One, my wonderful mentor & dear friend Eva, is a survivor of the camps. Bea, a new acquaintance, is a survivor’s widow. David’s family lost uncles & aunts & cousins; Marcel’s father also was a survivor, as was Mark’s mother. As they shared stories with us, David said something I think about often: It’s just a stroke of luck that I was born here & not there. Buddhists say:How lucky we are to be born into our precious human lives. And as the Dalai Lama reminds us: Why would you disavow your happy life?
I respect people of faith — all faiths. And Lent is a lovely way to show that respect, and also mark how very lucky I am. In fact, I almost feel guilty that I don’t miss Facebook more. I haven’t visited it on Sundays, as some religions allow with Lenten sacrifices. It’s just not part of my daily routine these days.
But the remembering? That is. For which I am also very grateful ~