Today is Ash Wednesday and the first day of Lent. Wikipedia defines Ash Wednesday as the “Christian practice of placing ashes on the foreheads of adherents as a sign of mourning and repentance to God” and Lent as “a time of sacrifice for Jesus”. I didn’t know that this religious holiday was today until a 20 year-old came into my office with ashes on her forehead and lamented that she is giving up chocolate, again, for Lent and expressed how much this pains her. So I asked her, “why”?
She was surprised by the question and said, well, um, because I like chocolate a lot. “Yes,” I said, “but why are you giving it up?” Well, um, because you’re supposed to give up what you like the most for Lent. “Yes, but why?” Well, um, so you can appreciate it more after 40 days of not having it. “Okay, but why are you doing this? I mean, what is the purpose of Lent, why was it created?” Well, um, I don’t really know but it’s part of my faith and that’s how I grew up. “So you just do it because that’s what’s always been done?” Well, um, yeah, I guess so. I suggested she just keep eating chocolate, Jesus would probably be happier to know she was enjoying herself.