I am not the only one in the household to give up stuff for Lent. Staff Sgt. WE has given up sodas and LPCoolJ gave up chewing gum. I think Mamma Deacon gave up her health (since she has been battling pneumonia). Since the Patriots lost the Super Bowl (THE last football game of the year), I think the Athlete gave up football---although that was not a choice.
Seriously, why all this talk of giving up trivial stuff (minus Mamma Deacon's health)? What difference does it make if I don’t build a city of a quarter million imaginary people or discuss with D1B the finer points of the Incarnation through the church? What is really to be gained? For me, I have already gained the experience of finding other ways to relieve stress that work my body as well as my mind. I am now walking daily on the treadmill. It is a healthy, if meager, start. Doing without the trivial things helps me to focus on the important things I have lost or forgotten. I am developing a better prayer discipline that I had lost over the course of the past year. I know on so many levels how beneficial a prayer discipline is to have, but how hard it is to regularly practice. It is still early in Lent; there is still plenty to learn and areas of life in which to grow.
I will be back building cities and discussing football March 23rd. But hopefully the things I have gained (and lost) this Lent will not be forgotten. I hope they will be part of who I am and what God calls me to be.