Give Up Bread~I think not–at least not now……………



            What do you give up for Lent? The church that I was brought up in did not practice this period of self-denial per se, but I remember as a kid thinking how cool it was that some of my friends were giving something up for Lent. I guess the thought behind it is that we need to suffer a bit, so giving up something that we like is akin to cleansing our souls.

            Lent is the 40 weekdays before Easter and is considered a time of prayer, penance, fasting, and self-denial starting on Ash Wednesday. It commemorates the 40 days that Jesus spent fasting in the wilderness. One might hold the opinion that Jesus was kind of built to take on these types of things and we are not and that we should admire and be satisfied by his discipline but not try to replicate it.

            If as Ken Collins explains on, “Lent is a season of soul-searching and repentance…and a season for reflection and taking stock”, then I say all the more power to those who partake. He tells us that “Lent originated in the very earliest days of the Church as a preparatory time for Easter, when the faithful rededicated themselves and when converts were instructed in the faith and prepared for baptism. By observing the forty days of Lent, the individual Christian imitates Jesus’ withdrawal into the wilderness for forty days.”

            Last night while I was stuffing myself with great food at an Italian restaurant one of the couples we were with mentioned that they were giving up bread for Lent. With all the talk of giving up gluten lately, I thought this was topical as well as challenging.

            I love bread. In all its forms. White bread, whole wheat bread, French bread, Italian bread, sourdough bread, rye bread, buns in all shapes, sizes, and ethnicities…. you name it—if it is bread-like, I love it! I have the book, Wheatbelly, and it has given me pause—but the question that comes to my mind immediately is: Is bread not the staff of life? Even Dr. Oz has gotten on to the band wagon, and while he does not ban it, he admits that it can cause many people digestive distress while expanding our widening waistlines.

            I want to get on the band wagon, I really do—and in comparison to 40 days in the wilderness it would not be that much of a sacrifice. I guess. But I am so not convinced. As I watch the dial on my scale lurch up past points I never thought I would reach—I may be rethinking my position. But I am weak. What would I wrap around my hamburgers, or the occasional hot dog I allow myself. What would accompany my lasagne? And baked beans without bread? Outrageous! Bread has been the mainstay of my diet since I was knee high to a grasshopper (sorry, I sometimes fall into clichés when I am upset).

            How does one eat a sandwich without bread? Yes there are gluten free products out there—but my sister, who has kicked bread out of her diet says you have to toast it to make it edible. Perhaps I protest too much—perhaps I know I should give up bread or at least cut down on my intake. Perhaps I have a stomach that would benefit from fewer wheat products as it has been known to be my Achilles heel, but that does not change the fact that I adore bread and all its relatives while abhorring its supposed side effects.

            Anyway, back to Lent. I admire those of you who partake in self-denial—you choose to deny yourselves of things you love in order for Lent to mean something. Chocolate, nicotine gum (yes I know people who are giving it up for Lent), sweets, bread, and meat are just some of the things I have heard people give up in these days before Easter.

            Personally, I love the other aspects of Lent–that it is a time of prayer and penance, self-reflection and soul-searching, and although I once thought giving up something for Lent was cool—I am no longer of this persuasion.

            Lent also means that spring is just around the corner—and that too is something to celebrate after living through this hard winter that does not seem to be done with us yet.

Note: I am not schooled in religious doctrine—this is merely a piece for entertainment purposes only. But, you already knew that.

Published in: on March 12, 2014 at 12:30 am  Comments (25)  

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  1. Our church does practice Lent… Some I suppose do give up something for Lent… I think it is a personal choice. I found however when I did…. I concentrated too much on what I gave up than in the contemplative and prayerful time … so I choose to not do so.

    As far as giving up bread, as some do on a permanent basis re gluten etc. I would definitely have a really difficult time doing so… I love bread.. almost as much as potatoes….Diane

    • you and I are of the same mind when it comes to bread and potatoes
      at my friend’s church their minister suggests that instead of giving something up they take on something such as daily prayer–I really like that idea

  2. Lou, the smell and taste of bread–one of the best things in life. I love a nice hot baquette with Brie and this jam called peach pepper ginger. The idea of Lent, as far as soul searching and reflection appeals to me a great deal but it’s something I do anyway from time to time. But I certainly commend and honor those who practice a belief and ritual that is part of their lives.

    • that jam sounds wonderful
      I too commend those who practice a belief system that comforts them

  3. Old story: Real masochists don’t take freezing cold showers because they like them. 😛

  4. I do miss bread, but not the aches and pains that came with it. We did not practice Lent, nor the sacrifices that came with it, but like you I like the idea of self reflection…..and knowing that spring follows Lent!

  5. I absolutely love bread but I have an intolerance to wheat (do’h!). But I can eat it once or twice a week which is lovely with my weekend breakfast of eggs benedict 😀

  6. Haha I gave it up for around a month after reading Wheatbelly and I felt so good and easily lost weight. It wasn’t as hard as I thought although I am eating it again now!

  7. Bread isn’t a big thing in my life, but I do enjoy it occasionally. I would never give up anything because someone tole me to. 🙂

  8. I’m with you on the self-reflection – and my hunch is that you (and I and others too I’m sure) don’t need a special time of year for that exercise. That’s good for the soul.

  9. I am weak too my friend :). I love bread and other forms of carbs, and I don’t really agree with eliminating a food group. Everything in moderation that’s my rule!!

  10. Self reflection and soul searching yes. Gasp.. No bread? How do eat pb and j?

  11. Carbs in general is what I live for (hyperbole, but you know what I mean). I feel like they get such a bad rep but my philosophy is to just balance it out with other things. And it also matters the kind of carbs you’re eating, not just cutting them out completely. (Can you tell I have a bone to pick regarding this matter?) I definitely do have a lot of respect though for people who honor Lent by means of physically giving up something.

    • I like the bone you are picking–I think it needs to be looked at–everything is not so black and white

  12. I admire those who do lent, I cannot imagine giving up something I love for so long! Bread being one of them, I adore it!

    Choc Chip Uru

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