Just Give It Up
February 27, 2007
A few days ago Jim Kushiner was kind enough to point you to my The Dust of Adam, an exegesis of the traditional Ash Wednesday rite. At the end of the first week of Lent, which is a little late but better than never, I'd like to say something in favor of the traditional discipline of giving things up for Lent.
It is a discipline I would urge upon you, whatever your tradition. You can start now, and treat the free week as the spiritual equivalent of being able to hit from the lady's tee just this once. Giving things up for Lent has, in my experience, two obvious benefits.
The first is that you very quickly find out how much a hold the world has on you. This is a lesson to which I give intellectual assent but I don't think I often really see what it means. We like to think of ourselves being happy to give up anything for the Lord just like that, even our lives, but most of us find it hard to give up something that really doesn't matter. the rest