It’s official. I have completed two full weeks of giving up desserts for Lent. And shockingly … I am not miserable. Giving up desserts has been easier than I expected. Yes, I’ve had to turn down cake, cake pops, cookies and chocolate on a handful of occasions, but nothing looked so delicious that I felt like I was missing out.
Of course I don’t think these remaining 31 days of Lent will be easy. But they won’t be as tortuous as I’d initially built them up in my head to be.
Taking on Lent in moderation is a big part of it. I gave up desserts, but I still put sugar in my coffee. I still put honey on my toast. But muffins, donuts, cake, candy, chocolate and any other dessert item is not an option. I’ve also been working my way up to it. Over the past three months, I’d been occasionally going without desserts for a day. I’d always been to adraid of legalism to seriously want to give Lent a try, and this year, I wanted to try something different.
So far, I’ve had one rough day – where it felt like everything that could have gone wrong did. I don’t have a car right now, I’d showed up late to a dentist appointment (thanks, Seattle busses!), left things I needed at home, life is expensive, insurance is frustrating, and I just heard some deeply saddening news about a family in my extended circle. I was mad at the world for being so unfair. I was stressed about life. Everything was cascading … and I just wanted a donut. Or a Twix. Or, let’s be real, a Twix-filled donut.
I walked into the kitchen for a cup of coffee, and a huge box of donuts was staring me straight in the face. Everything in me wanted to stuff my face with donut and make everything better. Or “better.” For at least a couple of moments. But I didn’t do it.
This is Lent. The goal is to turn to God when everything feels overwhelming … not turn to processed sugary treats to make everything better. So I took my cup of coffee and went outside to sit on a bench and pray. I pulled up my list of friends and family to pray for.
Taking the focus off of me and drowning in self-pity, and giving my problems – and the problems of my friends and family – over to God.
Because a donut ultimately will have no effect on turning my terrible day around. God, on the other hand, I’m pretty sure he’s got this.