Well, so far I have managed to stick to my resolution to give up soda for Lent.
At first it was quite easy. There are lots of others drinks I enjoy, including water, tea, crystal light, etc. It is afterall relatively easy to find low-sugar drinks these days. It seemed like an easy thing to “give-up.” My brother did sweets. No way I could do that. I wondered for a while if I was doing Lent Lite. I felt guilty, maybe I am Catholic after all.
However, as time wears on, it has gotten increasingly more difficult. I’m sick of tea. I have tried it in every flavor and concoction. The novelty has worn off. I want soda. I need soda. I’m longing for soda.
Then we drive cross country. I would have killed for a diet mountain dew. I needed the caffeine and Starbucks are few and far between from New Mexico through to Kansas City. It is a sad reality.
It would have been so easy to give in, but I decided needed to stay true to this. I feel like I need to finish. It isn’t a legalism thing. It isn’t a requirement. I just needed to, for me and Jesus, as trite as that sounds. It’s a stretch of journey very specific to this point and time of where I am in life and in my relationship with God.
I think part of the point of Lent is simply to have a reminder in the middle of our day to stop and think about God. To think about what He is doing in and around us. To turn our thoughts towards him and identify with him in a new way. So, I am grateful for the time in the middle of my want, need and desire to focus soley on him. Usually I turn to my own devices, I’ll give in, I’ll distract, I’ll otherwise medicate. This time I chose to sit in the trivial pain of really wanting a freaking soda.
I know that Easter is much bigger than that. But for me right now this is where Jesus is in my life. He is sitting with me in the desire for something I can’t have.
I recently read Donald Miller’s book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years and he said, in a roundabout way, that the beauty is found through the pain. I’m not there yet. For me the pain is still the pain. The longing is still monumental. I want a lot of things right now that I can’t have. I want answers that aren’t presenting themselves. I want resolution where there may never be any.
But I hold on. Grateful for the friends on the journey. I am more aware of where God is in my life and in my story right now.
And in a couple of weeks I will get to have a diet mt dew. It’s not all bad.