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Image courtesy of Amber Beery

Lent Is Not About Sacrifice. It Is About Desire.

I’m starting to understand Lent as a time to notice my surface desires and say no to them, just for a moment. 

I “gave up” potato chips this year. This self-denial can seem like an act of personal punishment. Or just a pointless exercise of religiosity. A way to puff myself up with piety.

But the purpose of sacrificing a surface desire—potato chips, or shopping, or time scrolling on the internet, or drinking wine—the purpose is not the sacrifice. The purpose is accessing the deeper desire.

The purpose is allowing the desire for love, for connection, for hope and wholeness, to emerge. To allow the deep longing in my soul for God to rise up to the surface and captivate my attention. 

The purpose of Lent is not sacrifice. It is desire.

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