The room mates and I were sitting around this evening talking about our weekends.  I asked them what they were planning on doing for Lent.  Reactions were varied.  Someone said, “What’s the point?”  Another said that they weren’t giving up anything since they were already fighting off their addiction to caffeine. 

I think Lent is good.  Giving up something you love is a difficult discipline that I think is important.  Self-denial is one of those things that make a person grow, especially when it is for something good, like Jesus. 

So, the question is, what do I give up?  In reality anything that I suggest I could rationalize away (“I can’t give up caffeine because I am going to need it for my big seminar paper…”).  I would like to give up Chapel for Lent, but know that it needs to be something hard as well as something I am not actively avoiding now. So, I have narrowed down the list a bit and you can give me your suggestions or experiences.

1. Caffeine
2. Facebook
3. Gasoline (to the best of my ability)
4. Meat
5. Fast Food
6. Eating Out
7. Television/movies

I have also considered just doing something extra for the 40 days: prayer, study, meditation.  Something along those lines.  I am not sure.  Anyone have any suggestions or good Lent experiences?



About coleyoakum

My name is Coleman Yoakum. I am formerly a student at Harding University. Today you can find me in Detroit Michigan doing what I can to expand the Kingdom of God and preparing to start an intentional community in Pontiac. I enjoy reading, writing, photography, music and politics. I am sure that all of these things will find their way to this blog from time to time. Twitter: coleyoakum Facebook: Coleman Yoakum Email: coleyoakum@gmail.com Flickr: flickr.com/photos/coleyoakum/

6 responses to “Lent”

  1. Sadie says :

    Our first year at the Lutheran church was the first year I ever participated in Lent, or really, ever thought about what it was all about. I have always thought there is something very profound and beautiful about giving up food. Probably that speaks more to my relationship with food than I was able to recognize at the time, but that’s another story for another time.

    Anyway, my first season I gave up eating anything but fresh fruit between 8am and 6pm. It was hard. Hard hard hard. To make it even harder, we went to New Orleans for my spring break that year and while Rusty and his parents got to eat delicious poboys and shrimp and crawfish, I ate packaged watermelon chunks.

    It sucked.

    But! The process of learning how to fast and feast, to ponder and celebrate, to experience physical hunger and then ignore it and move on with my life, that process was incredible. Sucky, but incredible.

    • coleyoakum says :

      So Sadie, what are you giving up this year? Anything?

      I have thought about food like that, for a couple of reasons. 1) I need to loose weight 2) for Lent, 3) I’m broke.

      I don’t know if my Lent choice should be for practical reasons though, you know?

      • Penni says :

        Needing to lose weight may be a practical reason, but I don’t know that that should stop you from considering it as spiritual as well. If you want to lose it for vanity’s sake, that’s one thing. But if you want to lose it because you want to take care of your body, as God’s temple, then I think that makes it a good reason to give up fast food and/or meat for Lent. Just my two cents :-)

      • Sadie says :

        I don’t think that practicality has much to do with what you choose for Lent. I think we should give up things that have a handle on our lives, that will be hard to give up, but that aren’t so damaging that we can’t feast on them on Sundays (so, giving up crack for Lent wouldn’t be a good idea. You shouldn’t feast on crack on Sundays, you know. Haha!)

        I think the idea of giving things up for a season should be about finding things that have unhealthy presence in our lives, that have become idols. It is about re-learning bad habits and putting things back in their places. It is about replacing things that have taken up the spaces in our hearts, and filling those spaces with good things.

        So with all that in mind, I would have to give up either:
        1. Fun shopping. Obviously, I can’t give up buying everything, we need food eventually. But I have seriously thought about giving up non-essential shopping (but honestly, my ideas of essentials are so crazy that I would probably have to just give up shopping all together, and let Rusty do all the shopping, even for essentials)

        2. TV. Such a waste of my life.

        3. Sodas. Such a shitball of badness that is making my gut continue to expand.

        I haven’t thought about what I would like to replace those things with though.

  2. Lisa says :

    Oh, Lent. I love the idea and although it is very foreign to my religious tradition, I’ve thought about it for several years now. I don’t want to do anything without giving it thought, though. I don’t want to just wake up some day and say, “HEY! I think I’ll give up caffeine for Lent!” I want a plan and I want to have purpose to what I do.

    That said, here are my top five contenders for the Lenten season:
    1. Eating out
    2. Carbonated beverages (I think that coffee is sacred. Therefore, I will not give up all forms of caffeine.)
    3. Facebook
    4. TV (I watch way too much under the guise of hanging out with my kids.)
    5. Buying new books. Trust me — this would be hard.

    I have some online resources for Lent. I’ll find the links and send them if you’re interested. By the way, when does Lent actually start this year?

  3. coleyoakum says :

    Lent begins March 9th. Ash Wednesday.

    I think I am going to go with Sadie’s suggestion of anything but raw plants from 6 a.m.-6p.m. Its healthy, sounds awful and will probably help me save some money. Has all the makings for a productive Lent.

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