Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Need for Sacrifice

Let's be honest, most of the time, we are indulgent creatures.

We enjoy living off the fat, having what we want when we want it, and in general not thinking twice about it.

Today is Ash Wednesday, the start of a 40-day lenten season that for Christians honors the ultimate sacrifice that Christ made for his people. 

What does it mean to sacrifice in our day and age of instant gratification?  And, why is it so necessary?

Let me begin by saying that any time you have to do without something (even the most nominal of amenities, take for example, my daily Starbucks addiction), you instantly realize one how insanely reliant you've become and two, how good it feels to surrender something that you've been bound to for too long.  And, sometimes, you permanently let the indulgence go.

When you give up something larger like holding a grudge or guilt or anger, the stakes are higher and often, the rewards are sweeter.

The decision to do away with that which we do not need in our lives whether it be a superficial indulgence or a deeper wounding behavior is what sacrifice is all about.

I'm convinced that the purpose of life is to love and to be loved.  Its impossible to give and to receive when you're blocked.  Take away that which is unnecessary in your space to make room for the good stuff.  You may be only one latte or conversation away. 

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