we had a beer.
Justin and I gave up drinking alcohol for Lent.
We made it from Ash Wednesday, March 9, to March 31, and then we failed.
Justin was invited over to our friend Nick's house to have a beer after working at the hospital. Since we're moving out of the neighborhood, we're trying to get in one last round of good times with all of our friends. Which makes having given up alcohol a real bummer.
Other things that make it a bummer: hot weather, moving, March Madness (because Justin enjoys it, because it helps me get through it), happy hour with the girls, wanting a glass of wine while I cook an Italian dinner, wanting a beer when it's been a long day.
So what happens when you--not accidentally--break your Lenten promise?
Justin and I aren't sure. We're Lutheran.
We believe in a forgiving God.
That said, God being forgiving doesn't mean you can go around screwing up on purpose and then expecting to be forgiven.
As a general rule.
I mean, you're supposed to work on being a living example of Christ's love all the time, in response to God's perfect love. It's a work in progress; He is perfect, you are not.
So here we are. Justin is still at Nick's, I had a beer too (so that he wouldn't be smote alone--wasn't that big of me) and I'm trying to blog my way into clarity about this issue.
As far as I can remember, this is the first time in my life that I have given up something tangible for Lent. Usually I go with something more spiritual/emotional. I have given up expecting myself to be perfect, I have given up worrying about (or was it commenting on?) my body, I have taken on being patient with myself, I have taken on... I can't remember what, but things like that; things that are important to change anyway. I've probably failed at those Lenten promises, too, but it's harder to tell.
I'm really not sure what to make of having cheated on our Lenten promise. It would be one thing if we just forgot about it, if it were an accident, but we made the conscious decision to have a drink.
So what do we do now? Do we go back to abstaining from alcohol for the next 23 days? Or do we just chuck the whole thing and hope for better next year?