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The Discipline of Choice

At a recent board meeting I heard a very different take on Lent. After identifying the meaning of Lent for those not familiar with it, the speaker talked about the centuries old practice of giving something up for Lent. Except this time it was from the perspective of families who turn to Loaves & Fishes for food assistance.

For many of them the question is not what pleasure will I give up for Lent, but “will I buy medicine or put food on the table?” Or “will I pay for car repairs so that I can keep my job, or put food on the table?” It certainly put a different light on my determination to “give up” chocolate or soda or coffee for 40 days.

Maybe I need to give up my reluctance to see that people all around me are making impossible choices– not as a spiritual discipline for 40 days – but every day; and not choices between luxuries, but between basic necessities of life.