Krista and I decided that we'd give some stuff up for Lent this year. Krista talks about it here...I won't spend a lot of time on the background, but I attempted to give up all sweets and sugars. And fast food. To me sweets meant sugar-laden sodas, and any type of candy or bakery.
I can't tell you how hard it was to walk into Rite Aid (near 7-Points in Florence) a couple weeks in and see the shelves of 75% off Valentine's candy on the right, and the brand new Easter candy on the left (I look forward to Robin Eggs and Cadbury Eggs every Easter). But I made it through that day.
The interesting thing is, I think that the Lenten fast is supposed to give you the need to lean on God, but I did the smart thing and filled the hole left by the sweets and sugar and fast food with other food. Bad food. I ate a lot of chips.
I found it interesting, recently reading C.S. Lewis's Mere Christianity; he says that:
No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good... Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is... You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down.
And the wind is very strong indeed. It was only with an attempt to try to do this did I figure out how far away from God I truly was.
It was hard. And by the end, I had given up.
It changed some things. Not because I was transformed by anything that happened, but I saw how far away I was. In some ways it was disappointing. In some ways it was a wake up call. We're all in a process of transforming, I guess. My prayer is that I keep moving forward, maybe taking baby steps at times, but keeping toward the goal.