Ash Wednesday, being the first day of a season we call Lent, marks the first of 40 days leading to Easter when individuals both Christian and non-Christian choose to sacrifice something during that period of time. Some choose a food or beverage, some choose something that takes up their time like tv, Facebook, Twitter, Netflix.
Maybe you've already thought about what you are going to give up for Lent. But if you are still undecided, I encourage you to select something that will REALLY be a sacrifice. For example, if you say "I'm giving up Starbucks", but you really only go to Starbucks once a week or once in a while, you aren't making much of a sacrifice.
The reality is any sacrifice we make can't come close to the sacrifice we are trying to emulate. I still struggle to watch "The Passion of the Christ" because I weep through the beatings, the look in Mary's eye wanting so badly to do something for her precious Son, the nails hammered, when they flip over the cross to place it in it's post and knowing how that had to tear at Christ's flesh. All the blood, all that blood, spilled for the love of me - for the love of you.
There's really nothing we can give up that comes close to that sacrifice.
But there is a way you can be reminded everyday and add the benefit that you're helping out others.
There is an organization called Blood:water Mission that is providing a way for you to sacrifice all beverages except tap water in order to dig wells in Africa for people who don't even have clean drinking water. Just $1gives an African clean water for A YEAR!
Signing up on the website provides you a means to track what you haven't spent on beverages, see other's experiences, and give towards a very worthy cause. 40 days - March 9 - April 23rd, or get in on it any time!
I'm going to participate.
How about you?