This Wednesday, March 9, is the start of the observance of Lent. I don’t always participate, but my white shiny Reebok wearing brother-in-law does so we were talking about it tonight. I suggested that he give up trying to tell jokes. He didn’t see the humor in my remark, which is conclusive evidence that he doesn’t have a good enough sense of humor to be telling jokes. Anyway, we were bantering around about things we could sacrifice. Joel usually does French fries, potato chips and soft drinks. His wife, Sherry, mentioned that she might forsake all sweets. Before I knew what I was saying, I blurted out, “Wheat, sweets and meats. That’s what I may give up.” I think that my body was momentarily possessed by an evil spirit. No one commented about it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if my head was spinning. But then again, I do think someone would have noticed.
Upon reflection (code for ‘thought about what I should have thought about before I opened my big mouth’) I began to understand the rationale behind my statement.
- I’m not that hung up on sweets. Going without is not much of a sacrifice.
- I do love meats, but a couple of times in my life when I felt extra eco-friendly or health conscious I survived without meat for several months. The last time was just a couple of years ago and I lasted 7 months. Forty days would be a cake walk. (I know, I’m mixing metaphors.)
- Wheat…now that will be a tough one, but not impossible. I’m not a big bread eater, but wheat is in everything. Did you know that cream of chicken soup has wheat in it? Soy sauce has wheat in it. However, “gluten-free, wheat free” are the new buzz words these days and so many products are made now to cash in on the evils of wheat. Going wheat free will be difficult, but much more manageable than in earlier years.
So, I reasoned that sacrificing any one of the above would not be worthy of the sacrifice Christ made for me, but all three at the same time could be the culinary trinity coup de gras. If you are keeping track, these deletions from my diet leaves only fruits, veggies and nuts and I can’t even deep fry my veggies. Seems very sacrificial, but there’s more than 900 million starving people in the world who have no sympathy for me. In the time that it has taken you to read this article, more than 200 people in the world have died of malnutrition.
Maybe when I am jonesing for a rib-eye during Lent, I will not only think of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for me, I will also think of His children that are among “the least of these.”
You can help. Click on www.worldvision.com. My family has sponsored Sachintha for years. We don’t help as much as we should, but every bit counts. For what one average American drops in the vending machines each week, a family in Africa, India or South Asia could be fed for a month.
Hey, maybe that’s one thing we should all give up for Lent…just thinking about our own needs and instead take action on the needs of the less fortunate.