Last year I participated in Lent for the first time ever. I'm Southern Baptist, and it's just not a Baptist practice, although after my experience with it last year, I think it should be. It just reiterated to me that I don't think any one denomination totally gets it right when it comes to Christianity. It's a journey, regardless of what church we worship in and what practices we do or don't keep. The one thing I know for sure is that it's a journey that's meant to be shared.
I felt a bit up a creek this year, as pregnancy has thrown life into some degree of turmoil for me. I feel lousy pretty much all the time, and I didn't feel as if I could commit to giving something up right now. Frankly, I feel as if I've given up my life at the moment, as I'm too tired and nauseated to participate in much these days. (It felt like a triumph that I not only made it to church this past Sunday morning, but I sang on the praise team, as well. Then I taught the youth that night. It was the first time in over a month that I'd made it to church both morning and evening.) I certainly couldn't commit to giving up any foods, as who knows from day-to-day what my body will or won't allow me to eat? I did contemplate giving up fiction for 40 days, but I'll confess that I found that thought too difficult. Admittedly, I'm not yet willing to sacrifice anything too hard, which is pretty pathetic, but honest. Ironically, though, I think I could have managed just fine, as I'm too tired lately to read at night anymore.
So this year, I've just been reading through The Via Crucis, which my cousin was kind enough to pick up for me last year. It's amazing to me how much of the story of the crucifixion seems new to me. Usually, I've read or been taught in entire chunks, so I know the story well, but it's the tiny details that have been lost to me. This book presents scripture in small snippets, and there have been many things I've never paid attention to before. I may not be experiencing willing sacrifice of my own right now, but at least I'm seeing Christ's journey to the cross in a new light. I figure that's something.