so i decided to observe lent this year. it's kind of the first year this has happened, but it was in conjunction with a bunch of my friends, and so i just decided spur-of-the-moment to join in. i decided to give up desserts.
i may or may not be addicted to sugar. it seemed like a great idea on tuesday evening, when i figured i'd stock up for the night on sugary things since i wouldn't be able to for the next forty days. it seemed like a great idea in conjunction with this new work-out routine i started. seemed like it would be harmless.
but now i'm on spring break, and there's dessert everywhere (that i don't have to pay for) and i've found myself rationalizing out the wazoo to try and figure out some way i can get past this whole lent thing. i mean, if it's in the morning, can it qualify as dessert? maybe the only thing around is ice cream for lunch… if i have no main course, can there technically be a dessert? how many grams of sugar has to be in something for it to qualify as a dessert, after all? ten? twenty?
the fact that one of my roommates gave up on his no-chocolate lent decision and the other one kiiiind of already cheated (a technicality, i'll admit) is not helping. since they gave in, can't i? no one would look down on me (once two or three weeks passed, at least). in fact, i could just eat dessert but keep doing lent… somehow.
what about half-lent? every other day, i observe lent. that's fair, right?
so all this thinking got me wondering about what lent is supposed to actually mean. i mean, i already knew, sort of. lent is about giving something up so that you can draw closer to God by preparing for easter, right? yeah. but it's not like i spent hours eating desserts (i really didn't, i promise… although it sounds tempting now), and now i can use those free hours to read the Bible or something. giving up facebook or netflix might have been more fitting for something like that. so how the heck am i supposed to honor God with my giving up of desserts?
well, here's something both interesting and kind of embarrassing for me. in the past week (ahhhhh it's only been ONE week!) i've noticed how much i turn to food for comfort. i really use desserts (and i guess sugar in general) as a way to calm down and unwind. typing that out, i feel really, really stupid. but it's true, for me. when i want to feel content, or satisfied, i most often look not to the Creator of the universe, but to sugar.
if that sentence sounds stupid, it should. because it is.
last night i got the opportunity to speak to the youth group at newburgh united methodist church. one of the main points i hit on was that even as christians, we still look to other things for satisfaction. it's like Jesus is this one-time thing in our lives. well, thanks Jesus for being there to take my sins when i asked you to! see you in church! in reality He should encompass every single moment of our entire lives. to use an idea we've been throwing around at cru lately, Jesus shouldn't be an app on our phones… He should be the operating system.
so while this first week of lent hasn't produced in me many personal insights other than sugar is sooooo good and i miss it desperately whencanihaveitpleasewhydoihavetowaitfivemoreweeks, it has pointed me in a better direction: towards Jesus. He's better than sugar.
or at least He better be, because i am going to be dead in thirty-three days.