Instead, five pounds fatter than I was in October, possibly drinking two glasses of wine per night instead of just one, and inhabiting a snarky, cranky space with my spouse, Ash Wednesday is upon me. Like a car going up an already rocky road, suddenly I hit the pothole that is Lent. The car shudders, and I shudder with it.
“Give something up? You must be kidding.”
Shouldn’t we be checking into a day spa, sending out for gourmet takeout, and scheduling a nice massage? What happened to a religion professing that as a spiritual practice? I could really worship at that altar.
Instead, I am faced with the idea of sacrificing whatever is my particular drug of choice to get through winter — be it chocolate, buying books from Amazon.com, criticizing my friends, gossiping, indulging in retail therapy.
So, I have taken on a rather large deprivation for the next six (!!!) weeks: no wine. Period. And I’m going to take the money I spend per week on wine and give it to the local food pantry. Sounds good, right?
By untying myself from this attachment to delicious white wines, I think and hope to tie myself more closely to God. I hope that with this effort to peel away something inessential in order to give to those in need, I will be following The Way. Just a little.
And so that I don’t just get stuck in the idea of sacrifice, I shall also take on the spiritual practice of centering prayer. I definitely need more silence at the core of my life, and I think this will help fill the hole that wine used to fill.
I’ll let you know how this goes. I am a tad fearful. I truly love my wine, which is probably why it’s a good thing to put it aside for Lent. But at the end of six weeks (six weeks!), I shall be thinner, purer, closer to God, and almost certainly crankier.