This year, I celebrated lent for the first time in my life.
I chose to not use any caffeine as a stimulant, though I did still have traces in decaf drinks. I wish I would have stretched myself a bit more. I thought that giving up caffeine would be difficult, but it really wasn’t. I never even had headaches. I found out shortly into lent that a double latte doesn’t have as much caffeine as a cup of drip coffee — I had thought it was the other way around. Ultimately, I think my body didn’t rely on caffeine as much as I expected it might.
On the other hand, even participating in lent was a great reminder of the season which lifted my soul. I found I was more in tune with the fact that Easter was coming. I work out of a coffee shop 3-4 days a week, and the days I’m not in one I’m usually making a latte at home. Daily, I was reminded that I was joined by millions of others in the midst of an annual rhythm. I was dialed in to an anticipation of the most sacred of Chrsitian holidays. As I blogged about here, I found new meaning in the timing of Easter in the spring, and this was a byproduct of lent.
I know that for many from my tradition, lent is seen as just an empty, non-Biblical ritual. That’s too bad. I found it to be incredibly meaningful and it led me to a fuller experience and connection with the Biblical narrative. I hope to embrace it even more fully next year.