So, not being Catholic, I didn't realize that Lent officially ends on Thursday (Maundy Thursday). Of course, it depends on where you get your information too. It seems that not all websites agree with a starting and ending date for Lent. Sometimes Sunday's are not counted in the forty days. Regardless, I kept my end of the bargain for forty days and that makes me happy.
My sacrifice for Lent was to give up sugar. All sugar, save that which occurs naturally in fruit. It was either sugar or the Internet, so I guess you know where my priorities are. To be honest, the first two weeks were difficult, but not impossible. Sure, I whined to my family and promised that I was indeed going to bake and eat a slice of cake as soon as my forty days were up.
The greatest challenge regarding the sacrifice was warding off the sweet advances of others. Because I didn't want to act the role of the martyr I refrained from sharing my Lenten journey with anyone outside my home. I did not realize what a role sugar takes in entertaining. I passed up cookies offered by my sons landlords. I had my dessert from the fancy pants restaurant boxed up and gave it to my children. I refused gum, candies, and all sorts of gooey yummies that I swear wore the face of Satan! Okay, not really, but I honestly didn't realize how often someone offers me a sugar filled treat.
How then did the sacrifice affect my spiritual life? Basically, it taught me that if my focus is in the right place (God) than nothing is impossible. Giving up sugar was not that hard. I suppose that because I was giving something up for the Lord, that it was easier NOT to give in. Let's face it, if you are giving your word (promise) to the Almighty...well, it's easier to keep.
But from my understanding, the Lenten sacrifice should cycle into more than a mere temporary sacrifice. It should transform my life. Let's face it, sugar, in all it's glorious yumminess, is not good for me (or you). If I am to truly learn anything from this season, I should have learned that my life is actually better without sugar. I do believe this be true. I learned that the pure, unaltered sweetness of fruit is far better tasting than that of the processed treats I am use to.
I've decided to continue my "fast" of sugar in that it should be an occasional treat not an every day event.
I'm also considering that next year my sacrifice for Lent should revolve around actions or character flaws that are keeping me from a closer relationship with God. Maybe, just maybe, I'm getting the hang of this Lent idea.
Later, I'll write about my spiritual journey during Lent and where it led me and where I feel I failed.