For the last few years I have tried to give up something for Lent. You know, the concept of setting aside the weeks leading to Easter as a time to realign your priorities. The idea is that you use an act of discipline to sharpen your focus. In the past, I've given up chocolate and wine, sweets (in general) and red meat. Two years ago, Aaron and I fasted the entire day of Maundy Thursday so that our first taste of food would be the communion we shared with our church that evening. But this year, I just plain forgot. Seriously. Somehow the whole Lent thing slipped my mind. Not sure how that happened...
Anyway, since it is Holy Week, I decided to participate in a mind-body-spirit cleanse. For the first few days of this week I am unofficially a vegan. Then, starting on Friday I can slowly add other foods such as whole grains, dairy products, and even meat. I'm not allowed to drink anything other than water or tea, and these have to be consumed in copious amounts. As the week goes on, my body will (hopefully) cleanse itself of all the junk I usually put in it: caffeine, free radicals, and who knows what else. And as I discipline myself to follow this strict regimen, I hope to spend lots of time in prayer and devotion.
It's been a nice week so far. I have done my devotions with fervor and prayed earnestly. But it's mostly because... I'm hungry!!! Oh, I am so hungry! How in the world do vegans do it?!? Or even vegetarians? Though I'd gladly be a vegetarian right now--I would just about club someone for a nice hunk of sharp cheese... Or a glass of cold skim milk... Argh. I have to stop torturing myself.
At least a dozen times a day I think: I'm quitting. This is ridiculous. Why am I doing this? But then I think about how easy my life normally is. I hardly know the meaning of the word discipline. I don't know what it feels like to have to give up something that I dearly love. I don't have to sacrifice much of anything. Hmmm. Makes me think of another sacrifice. I suppose that's the very point.
Well, it's only Tuesday night, but I think I've just renewed my energy for this whole thing. A few minutes ago my husband left the room carrying a bag of Doritos and I almost followed him like a puppy dog, begging for just a few. But I won't. At least, not tonight. I hope and pray I have the willpower to do this... In the meantime, I'm hungry and there's a bunch of carrots calling my name.