I grew up in a Christian household.  We went to church every Sunday, participated in the youth choir, collected offering, and went to Sunday school.  We honored the holidays and kept them holy (well, as holy as four children can keep anything).  One of my favorite holidays growing up was Easter.  It wasn't the chocolate bunnies or basket of jelly beans or Easter egg hunts, however.  What I loved the most was the story - a story of love and sacrifice, of putting others before yourself, of true selflessness.  Since heading out into the world on my own, I have not connected with the divine as much as I did in my formidable years.  Was it the lack of structure or the lack of awareness?  My early twenties were very selfish years and I did not consider, well, anything.  I tried out different churches, different services, but never really found that certain something, that thing that makes people go "Yeah, that's what I know to be true." 

Today is the beginning of the Lenten Season, according to the Christian calendar.  As the stories go, Lent begins fourty days prior to Easter.  The fourty days represents the time Christ spent in the desert before his ministry - his sacrifice and difficult times before he came to serve the people and eventually give his life for theirs.  During the time of Lent, Christians offer a sacrifice of their own, often fasting or giving up a vice.  This is meant as a way to connect with the divine, to give a minor offering for one that was so much greater.

It is on this day that I am choosing to reconnect.  I don't yet know what this means to me.  I do know that I believe in love and I have a great deal of faith in the world.  One way to begin reconnecting is to offer a sacrifice, to give up something as a means to climb the mountain, to get to where I want to be one day.  After much consideration of what I can give up for this time period to accomplish my goal, I have chosen to give up television.  I could give up any number of things (cursing, desserts, Facebook) but none of these will allow me the time and space to reconnect with myself, my life, and my divinity.  Without television in my life, I will find time to read, to meditate, to pray, to think, to just be.  My evenings will open up with hours of time to spend with my loved ones, my Sunday mornings will be spent reading the paper over brunch instead of watching yet another home improvement show. 

Will this be easy?  Probably not.  But it is not meant to be easy.  A sacrifice ought to be a bit of a challenge, otherwise it is not a sacrifice at all.  Am I saying that my television set will never turn on?  Nope.  I do intend to watch movies when it means I will be making a conscience choice to do so and I will learn and grow from that action.  I also intend to spend time with my family and friends playing our Wii because, well, that's just plain fun.  What will I learn from this?  How will I grow?  Well, that is yet to be discovered.  And I have faith that there is a plan out there for all of this, for my life.  Perhaps all of this non-television-watching time will help that plan unfold.

What are you sacrificing?  How do you celebrate your holidays?

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