Giving up fast food for Lent is hard. Yesterday I was walking to my car, and a guy walked by me carrying a McDonald’s bag. I caught a whiff of french fries (McDonald’s french fries are my favorite fast food), and it was all I could do not to mug the guy for a bite of his tantalizing junk food. Then today I was going to the bank to cash a check, and I passed by Sonic. It was all I could do not to pull in and order some tater tots and a cherry limeade. As I was pondering these things, a verse popped into my head: “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by HIS wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5) Suddenly, giving up french fries and tater tots didn’t seem quite so difficult. Thinking of all that my Savior did (and does) for me quickly squelched any desires I had to give into the temptation of eating junk I don’t even need in the first place.
I found out on Sunday that the forty days of fasting don’t include the Sundays leading up to Lent, and at first I was all bummed because I had missed a chance to eat fast food, but then I decided that I probably won’t stop the fast on Sundays. I don’t want the reason I look forward to Sundays to be that I can eat McDonald’s. I want to look forward to Sundays because I know it’s a day I will have to join other believers in worshipping and celebrating Jesus Christ. We can look forward to that every Sunday, and every day, for that matter, but do we? How many times have I considered having to get up early for church more of a burden than a blessing? How many times have I opted to stay up later than I should on Saturdays because I’m “having fun” instead of going to bed a little earlier so getting up the next morning won’t be such a struggle? If God sacrificed His only Son for a bunch of wretched sinners, the least I can do is sacrifice a little temporal entertainment and a few french fries.
I’ll leave you with a poem to ponder:
Here I Am
Lord, here I am,
Your humble servant willing—
willing to live for You,
die for You,
sacrifice for You.
For any sacrifice I make
to gain more knowledge of Your name
indeed is not a sacrifice—
not a sacrifice but a blessing,
my heart’s chief delight.
Lord, here I am
asking You to make me new—
new like blossoms in the spring,
new as each morning’s sunrise,
so that I may cast aside my flesh.
For my flesh with all its base desires,
evil motives and impure thoughts
can have no part in Your holiness—
holiness which has no equal,
which needs not my self-righteous life.
Lord, here I am
pleading You to visit me
and bless me with Your presence—
a presence so amazing and wonderful
as to leave me speechless, in awe of You.
For You alone are God,
and You alone deserve my praise.
You, whose glory fills the heavens—
glory that cannot be seen by human eyes
or felt by human hands, yet encompasses love divine.
EDIT: Yes, I am aware of the evils of fast food, but that hasn’t stopped me from eating it, unfortunately. It’s more a matter of convenience than anything else; my schedule is kind of crazy and sometimes it’s just easier to drive by someplace and get dinner or lunch instead of cooking it myself. But perhaps not eating it for 40 days will help wean me of it.
(And I haven’t watched Super Size Me because I don’t want to hate McDonald’s, but maybe watching it is exactly what I need to do.)