(Lenten reflection)

The black coffee of Lent…

As an adult, fasting during Lent (for me) has gone beyond no meat on Fridays and giving up chocolate. First of all, I eat a plant-based diet, so these dietary practices are irrelevant in that sense. But they are irrelevant to me now in another sense. For me, a Lenten fast is a matter of adopting a whole different approach to everything. I do not “give up” tasty treats so much as strive to let go of habitual aspects of my life that are ultimately harmful and illusory. It is not a contest of my will against itself, which is just another power trip. Instead, I make an effort to deepen my one-to-one relationship with God, who is the only one who can give me strength and perspective for this journey. Like any other intimate¬†relationship, this requires time and sacrifice. Some things I would prefer to keep must be set aside. Fortunately, as it moves forward, this kind of Lenten fast becomes more of a moving closer than a letting go. Meatless Fridays, a desert with no chocolate, and fish sandwiches from a mega-corporation seem like an absurd parody of the dry bread and black tea of trying to walk with Christ into the vast wilderness of seeking the one thing necessary.

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