Do you love your Starbucks?
A Lenten Reflection
“…I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds.” Acts 26:20b
Some of you might think this an odd statement. And some of you don’t practice Lent in any way.
But as for me, well usually about this time of year, I’ve gotten a little sloppy. By mid-February or early March, I’m tending toward too much Starbucks, too much sugar, too many baked goods, and too little fresh, healthy food in its natural whole state. I usually feel in need of a spiritual jolt around this time too. My prayers tend to grow as lackluster as the weather. And I could use more intentional time with God. Some of my behaviors, reactions, and attitudes seem to need a tune up. And I could also use a little self denial.
I welcome this season of following my church traditions of fasting and abstinence, along with some added activity (this has taken many forms over the years—more service, prayer, reflection, time alone with God) or an act of sacrifice (saying no to myself, giving up a food, action, or beverage that has become too easy or too frequent an indulgence).
Over the years, I may have been judged for what I’ve given up. Take Starbucks as a particularly good example. I understand the thinking. While people are literally dying of starvation, I’m giving up an almost $5 cup of coffee, Big deal. But that’s part of the point, I am consuming something with more frequency than I care to admit, without much thought to how much it costs. It’s a bit of a mindless addiction, a luxury I take for granted. It’s a treat I go out of my way to get, sometimes at the expense of higher priorities.
So for me, no Starbucks for Lent is, if not a sacrifice, a reminder of the plenty I enjoy. Not to indulge in this daily delight gives me some pause. And I try to use that moment to pray a little more, to be grateful for all that I have, to be more mindful of all those who suffer from hunger and thirst, literally and figuratively.
I am so deeply grateful for the life of Jesus, freely given over to death so that I can live. The practice of Lent in preparation for the blessed celebration of the resurrection of Christ, Easter, may not be the grandest of measures. Still, it’s an opportunity to remember, to commemorate, to be thoughtful.
That’s why I really like Lent.
How about you? Do you observe Lent in some way? Or not? Do you prepare for the coming of Easter ? I’d love to hear your thoughts.