As I mentioned a few weeks ago I gave up CHEESE for Lent. We are a week in and can I tell you it is one of the hardest sacrifices I have ever made. Even harder than when I gave up coffee, and if you know me I LOVE COFFEE. You could even say I bleed coffee I drink it so much of it. What I did not realize until this past week is that everything I like has cheese on it and if it doesn't have cheese on it there is a pretty good bet that I don't like it. I was three days in and wondered if it were too late to change my Lenten offering.
This past weekend I had the great privilege of serving the youth at Destination Jesus. It was a wonderful retreat and so many beautiful blessings came out of this past weekend for not only the youth but for myself. It was also quite challenging, you see, everything that we had to eat had cheese on it or in it. I found myself feeling frustrated, annoyed and quite hungry. And there were times when the other youth ministers would tease me with all the delicious cheese they were eating. Now granted it was my own darn fault that I told them what I had given up for lent, but nonetheless it was hard. As I went to prayer with this frustration that night at Adoration, the Lord was very clear in his response to me, "Alle, you asked that this Lent I would give you the opportunity to walk with me in these forty days. I am only giving you what you asked for." Sigh, this was a true statement, and from that moment on I decided I am not complaining anymore about the lack of delicious cheese in my life, but to truly take this opportunity of sacrifice and offer it up for the many intentions and prayers that I know so many need. Christ suffered because of love for us, we are called to suffer for love of Christ and love of neighbor. Don't let this Lent be a time to mourn the loss of our beloved food, drink etc, but a time to truly love one another as Christ loves us.