Give It Up for Lent
We don't need Lent. Not this time.
At the very least, we don't need to "give something up," this year, 2021, during Lent.
Like a lot of other people, I come from a Christian background that includes the idea of giving something up for Lent.
Smoking. Drinking. Chocolate. Those are all popular choices for things to give up during Lent, a popular way to share the suffering of Christ, who went into the desert for 40 days before dying on the cross. Laying off the peanut butter cups isn't the same as living on locusts and heat for 40 days, but it's good symbolism and an honest effort.
I think the "give something up" tradition was more popular when I was a boy. In grade school, in 1963, the sisters of The Holy Union of the Sacred Heart urged six-year-old me to give something up for Lent, even if it was only candy bars.
What didn't I give up last year?
I gave up going to the movies. I gave up going out to dinner. I gave up going to bars.
A month ago, my wife, Deborah, and I were out running some errand connected to her Realtor business. We stopped to get a cup of coffee at a McDonald's drive-thru window, and then called in an order of Chinese food. As we sat in the parking lot outside the Chinese place, waiting for our order to be ready for pick up, my wife turned to me and laughed a little.
"My God," she said. "It's DARK, and we're still out!"
How many of you had many fewer people around your Thanksgiving table than usual? How many of you didn't go to (or were kept from) a favorite sporting event? Mosh pit? No. Sitting on Santa's lap? No. Christmas Eve with the grandparents? My God, no! You'll kill Meemaw!