A funny thing happens during most Fridays of Lent. I get a craving for bacon. Don’t know why. I love bacon, but I hardly ever have it for breakfast unless I eat out. Ever had the “Baconator” burger at Wendy’s? It’s a double decker cheeseburger with thick slices of bacon between each burger. Ridiculously delicious and totally bad for you. I think my cardiologist has a picture of the Baconator in his office with the caption: “Don’t eat this if you want to live.” Then you have the thick bacon they serve at Cracker Barrel that tastes like it was cut just for you. Thick slices of heaven!
So why did I just spend a paragraph waxing poetic about bacon of all things? It’s to remind us that during Lent we will be tempted by really trivial things that may derail us on our journey towards Easter. Lenten discipline, like abstinence on Fridays, is all about keeping us focused on the cross and focused on detaching ourselves from the things of this world. Small temptations, though small, can accumulate and lead us far from the path God has chosen for us. Temptation leads to sin, which may start off small and harmless but can quickly become habitual and destructive. We may rationalize that eating a piece of meat on a Friday of Lent may be harmless because it is an antiquated tradition, but we run the risk of using the same train of thought when confronted with larger temptations. Resist even the smallest of temptations for they distract us from our Lord. We have the gift of these 40 days to purge the unnecessary from our lives and cling to the One who is.