things i’m giving up for lent

this is not a lent bashing (or spiritual discipline bashing) post. i think the practice of giving something up for lent, when actually seen as a means of reflecting on what christ gave up, is a beautiful practice (of course, for many, it’s not much more than an inverted new year’s resolution). i’ve given stuff up for lent before.

however, this time around, i’m in a wallowing kind of place, connected, i’m sure, to the stress and sadness of all our transitions here at ys. can you say “comfort food”?

so, tuesday evening, during a pre-lent pancake dinner with my kids, i broke the “no twittering at the dinner table” rule and twittered that i was thinking of giving up abstinence for lent. that got me thinking: i’ll create a big ol’ list of MERELY SOME of the things i’m going to give up for lent this year. my kids helped me with some of them.

just sit back, and be amazed by my resolve.


ferel cat adoption
miley cyrus music
michael jackson gloves
driving under the speed limit
reading chick lit
putting my tongue in fans
watching the movie “little women”
stamp collecting
running for political office
taunting babies
launching my rap career
nude banjo playing
climbing mt everest
goober (that peanut butter/jelly stripey thing)
faux candy
buying gold bullion
thong underwear
tunneling under the wall
my search for the “lost” island
stove pipe hats
parachute pants
jam sessions with U2 in my basement
constructing a scale model of ancient jerusalem out of mike & ikes
road tripping with rod blagojevich
vampire hunting
amateur brain surgery
freeing willy

well, i could go on, because i’m really good at abstaining, as you can see. but, please, feel free to suggest more things i might consider giving up, in a comment!

32 thoughts on “things i’m giving up for lent”

  1. I’m with you on all those Marko, except for Miley Cyrus music… not me you understand, just that my daughters are too addicted…

    My previous pastor used to encourage ‘taking something up’ for Lent which I think is a better version of the traditional idea!

  2. As an Illinoisian, I am with you on giving up roadtripping with blago, but I would have to add Burris to the list of IL politicians that I am giving up being seen with (George Ryan is on there too).

  3. I always loved your nude banjo playing super-seminar at NYWC! LOL

    One of my pastors also talked about how giving up something for Lent was more about discipline, and also encouraged taking something on – like exercise or volunteering, regular meditation and prayer, etc… something to better yourself.

  4. Don’t give up D and D!!!!

    My students every year always try to suggest the same list of what they want to give up for lent:

    Listening to their Parents
    Paying attention at youth group

  5. Bro, I’m impressed with your list…except the giving up of Miley Cyrus music – that’s a little too much to give up. Go ahead, and indulge yourself. I know Jesus would…

  6. Don’t give up the Mike and Ike model or pass that on as a contest…I’m intrigued…not enough to do it myself but I’d love to see it!

  7. My Catholic Grandpa always went big for Lent…he gave up Watermelon (BTW it’s NOT in season)

    -Hunting Deer
    -sniffing glue
    -Jamming to Old School Britney Spears
    -Wearing a mullet
    -eating paint chips (just so hard to let go of)
    -Watching football (again, not in Season)

  8. I was sitting here trying to figure out who contributed what to the list….

    I’ve got to think that the Mike and Ike’s comment had to be Max.

    You should also mention that you are abstaining from these items both singly and in combination – e.g. playing a banjo nude while climbing Mt. Everest is off the table as well.

  9. I didn’t see Halo3 in that list anywhere, so I guess you’re good to go. But I would also like to mention an idea I came across last year called Lent Event []. It is out of the Uniting Church in Australia. The concept is simple: give up something for Lent, but sock the money away and send it in and it goes toward deserving projects in needy parts of the world (clean water in Sudan, for example). I’ve given up coffee shop coffee (if I want coffee, I brew it at home) and I’ve already put several dollars in my Lent Event envelope. It’s a well developed big time initiative in Australia. I’m using the materials and adapting it for our congregation in AZ. It is a positive way to give up something for Lent!

  10. No…not the parachute pants! How about chimpanzee Segway racing.

    On a serious note I’ve been thinking about what it would look like to give up the very things that Jesus did in the desert. I try to read In the Name of Jesus every Lent so I’m taking my cue from Nouwen. What would it look like to give up relevance, popularity, and power?

  11. you are a champion among men…how many of us give up that much for lent, your sacrifices should be recorded in the annals of history. but can i make a suggestion of omission? “taunting babies” some see it as taunting…some see it as education. they need to learn who is better than them at an early age, otherwise they’ll be brats…

  12. some additional things for your consideration:

    axe cologne spray (real showers rock!)
    stapling things to people’s foreheads
    side bangs
    gator wrestling
    ant bites
    necco wafers
    black licorice
    keys with tires chained to them (and the gas stations they belong to)
    moldy leftovers
    office dust
    boring meetings
    bad breath

    i shall give all of these things up for lent, plus your list, making us communally devout and sacrifical.

  13. ew, can’t give up amateur brain surgery,i must have overlooked that one. i don’t want my skillz to get rusty. so, i’m giving the lists up with one exception.

  14. Give up taunting male prisoners with pix of my hot slutty neighbor.
    Stop referring to nuns as penguins.
    Stop putting fattening baked goods on top of a dieting assistant’s desk.
    Be kinder and use less of co-workers condiments in work refridgerator.
    Stop thinking the world is going to end based on current generation’s love of Justin Bieber.
    Don’t consider watching Justin Beiber’s movie to get some good laughs only to be lynched by angry teeny boppers.
    Immitating celebrities for mocking purposes because it could hurt their feelings and does not help to solve their self absorbed issues.
    Think less of fellow Americans who go to Hard Rock Cafe when traveling internationally because natives already do that.
    Pretending to be Canadian when traveling in heavily Muslim populated areas.
    Michael Vick’s poster.
    Charlie Sheen’s poster.

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