Putting Down Roots


giving up
March 8, 2011, 10:55 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

There are lots of people in the world who can give really well-reasoned, compelling, and theologically sound arguments for the act of “giving something up” during Lent, and I mostly only know about them because I searched “giving things up for lent” on google. I’m serious.

I haven’t been going to church for that long, and I’ve never had a really good explanation of the whole “giving up” thing. Still, though, last year I found myself giving up dairy for Lent (it had nothing to do with diet; I kept right on going to Ultimate Ice Cream and getting sorbet, because Libby assured me that trying to give up all forms of ice cream would be really not a good idea for me).

I’ve never been that good at self-discipline, though, and so this season–which is all about facing temptation and moving beyond it, and preparing ourselves for the Big Party that celebrates Jesus’ resurrection at Easter–gives me a bit of a chance to practice.

Last year, while I was passing by the butter and cream cheese and fresh raw milk and ice cream, I realized how much there was to enjoy in the world without those things (grits with olive oil, for instance, or mango sorbet, or Mark’s dairy-free chocolate). One of the wonderful things about giving something up is realizing how much wonderful stuff there still is available to us.

I was reading a magazine article a few days about monks and ascetics (more or less, a fancy word for monks): it explained how a guiding principle for many people living monastics lives was to avoid anything that could be addictive. That got me thinking.

Now, I am blessedly free of any of the big addictions: I don’t drink ridiculous amounts of alcohol, I don’t do any drugs, I don’t smoke, I dont gamble, I’m not addicted to porn. Heck, I don’t even drink coffee more than twice a month. But I DO check facebook a million times a day.

And so, starting tonight, I’m taking a break from that part of the interwebs. I happen to think facebook is a fabulous tool–it’s kept me in touch with people all over the country, and put me back in touch with everyone from my 3rd grade babysitter to the kid I sat next to in 10th grade math. But things can get a little out of hand.

I’m trying to step back from this little time-sink in my life, and see what comes up to fill it in. I’ve got a whole bunch of letters to respond to, a nice stack of books from the library, and a pile of lumber in the backyard to make into 4’x4′ raised beds. I’ve got walks to take and neighbors to meet and sugar snap peas in the front yard to weed around. And the best part of all of it is, I can do whatever I want without having to think up a witty one-liner for a status update.

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1 Comment so far
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Don’t give up your blog, though! 😛

Comment by Alex L.




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