March 4, 2012

lent: self denial

alternatively titled the rice and beans experiment.

a month or so ago i was blog surfing and came across the story of a family who took a one month challenge to eat beans and rice for dinner every night. they donated their grocery savings to help build a well that will provide water for some of the one billion people on the planet without access to clean drinking water. the idea sounded intriguing to me. for one, i kind of like beans and rice. when we visit project manuelito in honduras, i'm usually a little envious of the plates of rice and beans that the kids often eat. (they feed us more 'american''s a cultural thing) i was also drawn to the aspect of self denial and the opportunity to remember how blessed i am.

i tossed the idea around a bit and decided to make it a part of lent as a tangible way to disrupt my normal routine. once a day i eat rice and beans for my meal. i occasionally add some fruit on the side or something for dessert, but they are always the main dish.

the thing with this discipline is that it all sounds very poetic at first. moderation. unity. solidarity with the poor. a mutiny against excess. it is magical. for like three days. then it gets old.

i honestly didn't think i would get tired of this meal so fast. i'm a pretty simple eater. i don't usually mind bland food (in moderation apparently). it is nice having so many of my meals planned out ahead of time. but it is so unappetizing. a few times i've considered just skipping a meal instead of having to partake of them one more time. arguably, i am new at the whole cooking rice and beans thing and it took me awhile to get the proportions down. those little side dishes i'm allowing are sometimes the only thing keeping me sane.

even so, i'm pressing on. i remember a quote from the blog of the family that ate this for a month, "i mean, really, who am i to complain about eating rice and beans when there are millions of people who would be beyond thankful to know that they were getting rice and beans every night? who am i to think i deserve more than rice and beans?" i can tell you one thing, it has made me much more grateful for the food i do have. it is a small sacrifice among my many blessings, to remind me of His great sacrifice.

1 comment:

Joy said...

very cool, shell! go you for pressing on, but for also being honest in admitting that it's harder than you thought it'd be.

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