“Just a water is good for me.”
That is what I have said the last 46 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter.
Breakfasts/Lunches/Dinners/Parties/Low Blood Sugars…just water for me.
I have no real idea what the history of Lent is. I have no real idea what denomination it started is. But last year I gave it a shot for the first time in my life. Not out of religious obligation, but out of curiosity. I gave up Facebook. I remember the first week or so I constantly reached for my phone to check status updates. Eventually, my muscle-memory learned that I wasn’t going to be using it for a while.
I enjoyed the experience of Lent and decided that I would try it again for a 2nd year. For Lent, I wanted to “sacrifice” something that wasn’t inherently bad. I don’t know all this history of Lent. I know that whenever I bring it up people think something like, “Isn’t that a (insert denomination) thing?”. I don’t know what it is. But some traditions are worth trying to understand.
Since I have no idea what Lent is to most people that have practiced it their entire lives, I have no pretentious feelings towards whatever people decide to give up for Lent. For me, I wanted to give up something that would require some type of sacrifice, although obviously incredibly small.
For instance, if I said I was not going to drink 1 specific type of soda…I could easily go into a diabetic coma drinking massive amounts of another. Or, if I was addicted to drinking coffee/smoking cigs/x-rated movies…then I should probably give that addiction up for more than 40 days. You might be thinking “Nobody would say they are giving up pornography for Lent, that is absurd/non-religious.”
Again, this is a Jason thing. I don’t know how other people who have practiced Lent do their 46 days, but for me the most appropriate thing to sacrifice is something that isn’t inherently bad. Something that actually has quality to it and is useful in your everyday life. So this year I decided that for 46 days, between Ash Wednesday and Easter, the only liquid I would consume would be water.
Not extreme. I know. I don’t think I could do fasting and survive with my pancreas.
Here were some of the highlights(?) if you will.
– The fastest way to raise my blood sugar when it is low is through liquid. Even though I consider myself pretty laid back, my brain sends a code red to my body when my sugar drops and the only thing I can think about is “YOU NEED TO FIX THIS NOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWW!!!!!!!!” Typically, if I am driving I pull into a gas station and grab an apple juice and that takes care of it rather quick. This time was more difficult. I didn’t quite think about it until that first time I put down the apple juice in the gas station and tried to figure out a food that could get into my blood stream quickly.
– Breakfast with only water is pretty horrible. I didn’t eat cereal b/c of the milk factor. Nothing like scrambled eggs and orange juice….wait…water. I reached for OJ every morning for the first 10 days. Then muscle memory began it’s learning.
– There are other foods that don’t go well with water. So I didn’t eat much of those foods. Which was actually a good thing. Since pizza and water is a pretty bad combo…I had pizza maybe once?
– Cravings like a pregnant woman. I craved Milk. Of all things. I don’t even know the last time I drank a glass of milk. I eat it in cereal and use it to cook with, but hardly ever drink it. Maybe on Christmas morning when we have cinnamon rolls. That’s the only time. But there was a couple of weeks during this stretch that I seriously wanted to quit and do the milk challenge. So strange.
– After about 10 days of only water, my body began to feel it physically. I woke up very alert in the mornings. I had a lot of energy throughout the day. And even felt energetic as I went to sleep. Not sure how to communicate that. I just felt very good physically during the days and had no problems going right to sleep at night.
– No alcohol for various events/days. When Lent began I was working a full time job which got me home around 6:45pm. Eat dinner. Then work on my part time church job after dinner and on the weekends. In between that I was planning this life changing move. There were times where I just wanted to sit in my recliner and have a beer and be still for 30 minutes. Also, during this time we attended a wedding/vacation at the beach/brother’s birthday dinner/last get togethers with old friends…”Jason…can I get you a drink?”
“Just a water is good for me. Thanks.”
I actually came up with the thought of only water (and this is in all seriousness) from thinking about the fact that my dog has only had water to drink his entire life. And he seems pretty ok with it. I figured if Killer can do it for 11 years straight, then Jason can make it 46 days.
For me, the thing about Lent is that every time I opened the fridge in the mornings and saw the OJ…
every time I had a meal and knew that iced tea would go way better with it….
every time I craved a glass of cold milk in the evenings for unknown reasons…
every time I declined a free drink at a goodbye dinner or family/friend event…
every time I turned on the sink filter and filled up the glass with ice and water once again…
I thought of Jesus.
Every. Single. Time.
I thought of Jesus.
There has never been anything in my life that has so concentrated and focused my thoughts and my hearts towards Jesus in the mundane activities of life (daily requirement of drinking something) like Lent has.
Giving up something good. For such a short period of time. For something better.
And what I know, is that for at least the next couple of months every time I raise a glass to my lips (water/oj/milk/beer)…
I will think of Jesus.