We just marked the passing of Ash Wednesday. My coworker, a practicing catholic, attends our annual services, here at work, to be marked with Ash and begins the Season of Lent.
According to Ken Collins:
Lent is a season of soul-searching and repentance. It is a season for reflection and taking stock. Lent originated in the very earliest days of the Church as a preparatory time for Easter, when the faithful rededicated themselves and when converts were instructed in the faith and prepared for baptism. By observing the forty days of Lent, the individual Christian imitates Jesus’ withdrawal into the wilderness for forty days. All churches that have a continuous history extending before AD 1500 observe Lent. The ancient church that wrote, collected, canonized, and propagated the New Testament also observed Lent, believing it to be a commandment from the apostles. (See The Apostolic Constitutions, Book V, Section III.)
I like these words: “soul-searching“, “for reflection” and “taking stock“. So, even those people not practicing religion or believe in religion it is still has a universal understanding that I believe is important for every person. It’s good to reflect on your life and discover your ‘personal’ meaning. Many of us did just this with the mark of the New Year.
Well, here is why I believe practicing Lent is interesting. My coworker, every year comes up with an idea of what she is going to do without for 40 days. 40 days! 6 weeks!
2008: Last year was chocolate. Now that is hard for us woman. No easy task! Did she do it? Mostly. A slip up here or there. Hey, you can’t expect the woman to be perfect when it comes to sweets! lol!
2009: This year it is baked goods. Even those lemon bars she loves so much. If you haven’t noticed, my coworker has a big sweet tooth. She is fortunate though, because she can eat those things and it doesn’t show on her small figure one bit. Ah, one of those women we envy or love to hate. 😉
So, I began to think… what would I give up for 40 days? Well, here is what I am going to give up for 40 days… well, the days left remaining: I am giving up packaged, processed convienence foods. You know, those bags of chips, granola bars, my favorite chex mix, the chinese snack pack w/wasabi peas. The stuff that I feed my kids for lunch, but come home to automatically grab as a snack to tide me over until dinner. The stuff I pop 50 cents into the machine here at work because I am too lazy to pack my own snack to bring to work. And it won’t hurt that I may lose a pound or two from this. Or so I hope. It is my hope that it means I will have to turn to eating fruit and whole foods (dried nuts and fruit, yogurt w/added fruit, whole grain crackers w/sliced cheese and apples, etc…).
My question to you: If you were to give up something for 40 days, what would it be? And do you think you could do it?
If you up for taking up the challenge, let me know and we can keep eachother in check. Happy Monday, you all! ~Money Funk