can i start lent late?

I know, even asking the question is pretty trifling of me. But even Jesus asked His Father why he had forsaken him, right?

I’m sunk to a new low of egotism. But hear me out —

For lent, you are supposed to make a sacrifice. To me, that means giving up something that is difficult, something that you really enjoy, something that will take a lot of effort. You feel me?

These are my options:

  • Sweets: actually too easy. As much as I love candy and cakes and cookies, I can and have given them up in the past. No big deal.
  • Coffee: I gave up coffee last year. I’m still pretty much off it unless I’m having a bad day, and even then I don’t even really like it.
  • Cursing: I can stop my mouth, but can I stop my mind? I’m not sure if this is appropriate to “give up” for lent. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated. But in any case, I wouldn’t mind giving this up. Doesn’t feel like a sacrifice to break a bad habit that I’d really like to break.
  • TV: honestly, don’t watch much of it anyway. I don’t think it would be hard for me to give it up. Besides, I’m focusing on doing better in my law classes – I don’t have time to watch TV. A bad habit that needs breaking…

So what this is really all about is that nagging thing that I really love to do that I really should totally give up but I really don’t want to but would be perfect for Lent…alcohol.

Oh say it ain’t so!

Ok, I could, in theory give up alcohol, but it would be really helpful if I started next weekend. I think. See, I’m defending my dissertation proposal on Monday. And my 30th birthday is on Thursday. And I’m pretty sure I’m going out to celebrate on Friday. So a week’s repreive would be soooooooo nice. And the deeper issue is that I like to drink. More than I like sweets. And coffee. And cursing. A good glass of wine beats any of those hands down.


But that’s not how it works, is it? Jesus didn’t get to say, “Father, can we just wait until it’s more convenient for me to die on the cross?” Jesus didn’t get to say, “But I’m not quite ready yet.”He didn’t say any of those things. He just did what he had to do. What needed to be done.

I know there are other things I could do. In our church they recommend fasting during the day until sundown. I could do that. But as soon as I realized it was lent, drinking sprang into my mind. Everyone has their own path. For some reason, I think God is leading me down this one. He’s challenging me. Am I up for the challenge?

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