It is the first day of Lent. If you are not Catholic or Episcopalian, this probably means nothing to you. But if you are, this is a BIG season. From now until Easter, it is the season of self-examination, introspection, denial, and, yes, worms. As in, whatever riches or fame we have…it just doesn’t matter. We are sinners in search of redemption. We are worms.
Now, then. The classic feature of Lent is giving something up. And that most often involves food. Isn’t that telling? The most painful, self-sacrificing thing we can think up to deny ourselves is food. So for most of the day, I have been thinking about what to give up. My friend, Kim, noted that usually you figure this out before the Imposition of Ashes, or as we call it, “getting ashed.” I got ashed at noon today and at 8 p.m. I am just getting around to the denial part.
So I have been pondering. Wine? Should I give wine up? No, no. no. That would be creatively counter productive. And unhealthy. Wine is one of the good food groups, being primarily made up of grapes, which is a fruit. We need our fruits and vegetables and since they don’t make wine from radishes, I need to keep the grapes.
Hamburgers. I dearly love hamburgers. But giving them up would mean 40 days of never darkening the door of Five Guys. Can I really pass by Five Guys for more than a month? Well, maybe. Let’s put that one on the possible list.
French fries. Geez, if I’m giving up hamburgers French fries would be a breeze. But this isn’t supposed to be a breeze. This is supposed to be hard. French fries aren’t epic enough.
Velveeta. Oh, gosh. Velveeta not only involves the processed cheese block, but also the slices that go on the sausage bagels. I have a package of those cheese slices in my icebox right now. Will they keep until Easter? Who am I kidding. They’ll keep until William and Kate produce an heir to the throne.
What else? Pigs in a Blanket? No, don’t eat those often enough. Pizza rolls? Ditto.
God is watching me now. He is taking a close personal look at me. My choice is important. I know this.
O.K. I’m digging deep here. Hamburgers. No more hamburgers. Five Guys, Rotiers, Brown’s Diner…bye, bye for 40 days. Do Krystal’s count? Yes, unfortunately they do.
However, there is one catch in the contract that Episcopalians keep at Lent. It’s the “Sunday only” rule. That is, if denial is just too much you have an “out” on Sunday. Slackers. We are not only worms, but we are also slackers.