Well, my first Lent experience is over. I never even heard of lent until about four or five years ago. I was in the Viewmont Mall in Dickson City, PA when I couldn’t figure out why every other person I saw had a dirty forehead. It honestly freaked me out a bit. I didn’t know whether the end of the world was near or the Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour was running some kind of crazy special Scrantonians couldn’t resist. I was informed that day that it was Ash Wednesdays. Ash Wednesday kicked off the Lent Season. I was told this was only something that Catholics would participate in. Just another thing they would do to earn their way to Heaven. I shook my head in pity for these poor souls. They just don’t get it.
Every year, the Lent season would come and go and my interest for the season would grow. The more I talked with people that participated; I realized that many of them just desired more of God. It was some sort of fast for them. I wanted to do it, but was scared my friends would think I was getting a little crazy. Last year was my first year to go for it. I committed to give up caffeine. I lasted three days.
So this year, I told myself I would do it. I viewed Lent as a chance for me to fast from something. Fasting to me is simply an outward expression of an inward desire for more of God. More of Him for me personally, and more of His power in my life to reach others. So I upped the antsy and decided to give up desserts. Now for those of you that know me, that proposed quite the challenge. Honestly, not a day goes by where some sort of sweet delicacy makes its way down my throat. I am a sweets addict. But if I was going to do this whole Lent thing, I wanted it to be something significant.
I did it and now its over (I had chocolate chip cookies and Breyers Vanilla Bean ice cream at midnight). So now I reflect a bit on my experience. Honestly, nothing crazy happened. No visions or dreams. I didn’t perform any miracles. No fire from the sky. Nothing like that. But one thing I took away — I actually sacrificed something for God. Something as small as not bloating my fat cells with chocolate. Not much of a sacrifice, but every time I would finish a nice meal and desired something to chase it down with, I would think to myself – “No. No desserts. Youâ€™re doing this for more of God.” Again, compared to what Christ suffered for us, not really that big of deal. But, I’m glad I did it. I’m happy to have participated and look forward to growing a bit more in this wonderful tradition next year. Many of my experiences I can’t really describe. But there were special moments with God. Moments I wouldn’t trade for a piece of pie, a Dairy Queen Blizzard, or Ang Johnson’s chocolate chip bars (no offense Ang).
So that’s my experience. What about yours?