Someone, someone who clearly knows nothing about me, asked today what I was giving up for Lent. Well, look, while it’s all well and good for others who are moved by the spirit to give up chocolate, or booze, or sex, or social media for the duration, I’m not the type to willingly “give up” on anything really.
I’m the type to hang on to the things I like until my knuckles are white and my fingers shake with exhaustion. I’m the type to embrace my favored lost causes in a bear hug. I’m the type who takes his pleasures where he finds them in the here and now.
While I am those many things and more, what I’m not is the kind of guy who finds much use in fasting, penance, atonement, and self-denial. Hair shirts and self-flagellation just don’t fit into my view of the world and how I want to experience it. I don’t think, if there is an all knowing and all powerful God above, that He cares if we stop eating chocolate for the next 39 days. If I’m going to believe there’s a grand architect to this universe of ours, I have to believe that running it involves a little more focus on the big picture than worrying over what one individual, in one minor species, on a small planet, circling a insignificant star, in the outer spiral arm of a unremarkable galaxy is putting in his belly.