First off, as a Christian believer, observing the rules of Lent is a must. No discussion.

So effective today, Lent is here, the forty days before Good Friday in which Christians are called to reflect and sacrifice in order to grow closer to Christ, who made the ultimate sacrifice for us all. I can’t think of a more noble path to take during this time and at any time for that matter.

In addition to the food and fasting rules which are observed by Catholics and some really hardcore believers of other denominations, many folks give up something for Lent. Chocolate, booze, red meat, smoking, candy, these are all commonplace.
My friend Joseph told me how during his Catholic School days he and his friends chose especially difficult Lenten sacrifices to make. For example, one Lenten season he and his classmates gave up Ice for Lent. Yes, ice. It’s one of those things we take for granted yet for thousands of years, ice was no more available on demand and affordably than any precious commodity. Doing without it was hell on earth, pun intended.

Okay, after having reflected here’s what is going away…

  1. Blanket ban on white sugar and excessive white flour. Some pasta is ok. That means naked chicken at Wings, Pizza and Things. More specifically…
  2. Sweet Tea. Boy did I get addicted to this. Thankfully, Stevia and Splenda exist.
  3. Milk. I’m not talking some milk here and there. I had a half-gallon yesterday evening. I drink milk like water. Maybe I oughta drink water like water.
  4. Ice cream. I’d largely given this up but allowed it to sneak back in on weekends.
  5. Pizza. Again, I’ve curbed my pizza addiction – partially due to the rotten-ness of a lot of it out there – but had allowed a couple of pies on weekends.
  6. Sugary sodas. I haven’t had fully-leaded sodas on a regular basis in awhile, but I allowed myself slippage during recent holidays and carnival season. Time to tighten up.
  7. Alcohol except on Sunday. I bought a six-pack of that delightful Shiner Homestyle Cream Ale and still have some. I don’t drink like I used to, but since Sundays aren’t technically Lent, I can violate each of these with impunity. I hope I don't.

I chose seven because that’s a biblical number for perfection. I don’t think I’ll reach perfection ever, but hope springs eternal.

If you see me violating any of these, call me on it. And pray for me. I'll need it.

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