There is a wonderful confluence of events today. It is Valentine’s Day – a day to celebrate love in all of the ways it shows up in our lives. It is also the beginning of the season of Lent, when our Christian neighbors will begin a 40-day period of reflection and preparation for Easter. When I was a child, all of us kids were asked to give something up – which generally meant giving up sweets. There was something brave about choosing to give up something we loved for the sake of a higher purpose. It was less about denial and more about taking control, but it was also good for us to realize the privilege that comes with the ability to eat sweets, and to be able to deny ourselves that pleasure felt like a positive step in living our values.
As Unitarian Universalists, we no longer follow the traditional Christian calendar, so I doubt that any of you are choosing to fast during Lent. There are many other health related reasons that might make this a good idea, but as a spiritual practice there are many other life-affirming things we could choose to do. One of the things I seek in my life is more humor, and so I share this poem with you in the spirit of the day:
Roses are Red
Violets are Blue
Lent is upon us:
No chocolate for you!