Giving up vices the least we can do for Lent

Published 4:21 pm Thursday, April 4, 2019

Easter is coming soon, and by the time it gets here my church is going to receive a rather large donation of cash! 

I am a southern Methodist girl who wasn’t raised believing it was a law that I must fast or make a sacrifice for Lent. However, years ago, I thought the Lenten season was a great way to show my appreciation to the Lord.

I gave up dark chocolate one year, and it nearly killed me!  By the time Easter Sunday arrived, most of the chocolate bunnies in the south had been consumed by the out-of-control mother who was stealing them out of the kids’ Easter baskets.

My daughter, who moved to Seattle to be close to Starbucks, decided to give up her beloved java for Lent.  After 40 days of headaches, grumpiness and falling asleep during business meetings, she decided never to give up the dark, soothing magic of coffee again.

I have foregone sugar, fried foods and a host of other goodies for Lent in my lifetime of loving the Lord, but none has been as difficult as this one.  Nope, none, not even dark chocolate.

I live with an Italian, New Orleans husband who would never, and I do mean ever, give up food for Lent or anybody.  He just couldn’t physically handle such a feat, so I didn’t suggest it.  If I told him he would need to sacrifice his beloved pizza for nearly six weeks, he would have driven his Italian car to the hills never to be heard from again. 

Finally, I came up with an ingenious plan. Since both of us have a terrible habit of saying some non-printable words often out of frustration with our computers, politicians, bad drivers, or cell phones, we would vow not to use them for 40 days and beyond. If we should slip and say one of those foul words, we would throw money in the jar sitting on our kitchen counter. On Easter Sunday, we would then give it as an offering to the church.  Surely this would be pleasing to God and hopefully not as difficult as giving up dark Easter bunnies and not as death-defying for David as giving up pizza.

Well, unfortunately, we now have no money to buy a chocolate Easter bunny or a pizza!  The jar was soon replaced with a bucket, and one can also hear the faint sound of the Lord’s laughter with each rustling of the dollar as it is stuffed into his bucket.

By the time these 40 days have passed, hopefully, our foul words will be forever gone. The whole idea of Lent is to give up, give in, and grow for the love of the Lord.  He endured 40 days in a barren wilderness tempted by Satan and survived only to return to give his life for us. Giving up chocolate bunnies, pizza, coffee, expletives, and money is the least we can do for him.