Top Ten Reasons why I’m not giving anything up for Lent this year:

10. Our family has given up dessert for as long as I can remember. We always made exceptions for Sunday [Resurrection Day] and our children’s birthdays [3], but last year I fell on numerous other occasions as well. Our adult children each did their own thing. I need something new to inspire me.

9. I don’t drink coffee or alcohol on a regular basis so giving them up is rather meaningless.

8. I’ve lost 10 pounds over the past few months for some unknown reason so I really should not give up any weight-gaining type foods.

7. I really like dark chocolate so I could give that up, but we have none in the house right now so that seems pointless.

6. We had pancakes [butter and eggs] last night, but I don’t eat a lot of eggs and butter can be replaced with so many other things—this too is meaningless.

5. I’m doing a lot of preaching during my sabbatical and when I was scheduling I did not schedule anything during Lent, but the past two Sundays when I was all prepared the services were cancelled due to weather so if somebody asked me to preach during Lent I would eagerly accept! I miss preaching. My sabbatical is filled with input from reading and research so preaching fills the desire for output.

4. There are some people who give up bad habits like complaining or nose-picking, but those should be given up anyway and the point of Lent give-ups is to give up something good.

3. I could give up watching sports, but the Olympics are over and the Canucks can’t score, they’ve traded Roberto Luongo and they won’t make the playoffs, so this would be too easy.

2. I’m on sabbatical so I’m already giving up my daily activities to focus on professional and personal renewal. Do I take a sabbatical from my sabbatical? That seems odd.

1. I’ve run out of reasons. Perhaps I need to “give up” some time to reflect on the meaning of this practice.