Why Is It So Hard to Sacrifice?Blog — By Penny Carothers on February 16, 2010 at 12:11 pm
I know that Jesus said he desires mercy more than sacrifice, but there are times when sacrifice becomes a spiritual necessity, such as when we metaphorically cast out our own eye or cut off our own hand rather than give in to temptation; or when we go without so that we understand the gifts God gives us so richly on a daily basis; and most important for my point today: when we cast off our own privilege in order to take on – in some incredibly small measure – what it means to go without.
Lent officially begins tomorrow, and many of us will be going without. Most likely it’ll be the new sugar: twitter or Facebook (and there’s nothing wrong with this! I applaud it), or for the very brave, the world wide interweb. Personally, I’ve been using twitter or Facebook to see if anyone will join me in this:
Following in the footsteps of the Mustard Seed House, I’ll be feeding myself for $2/day for one week, and giving what I save to Haitian rebuilding efforts (personally, I’ll be donating to Partners in Health). But I want to do it with some other folks.
I haven’t got much response.
I’m excited about the effort and the outcome – doing something tangible to try, imperfectly, to feel a bit of what it feels like to live in $2/day, just like almost half the world. Except I have my cell phone, and my car, and electricity. But still.
When I was at Reed, OFCS (the Christian group on campus) held a Poverty Day, where we did this for one day and challenged the school to do it, too. I scrounged coffee from the Health Center and ate a lot of gum. One friend I’ll never forget – not a Christian – was really pumped about it. He was living on cigarettes and coffee. These days, there’s a secular movement to do the same thing – but the idea doesn’t seem to get much traction with Christians, who should be on the forefront of the movement.
Why do you think it’s so hard to sacrifice? And - will you join me?