This year I gave up poptarts, which I bring in to work every day and eat at my desk while answering emails in the morning, for Lent. Today is Easter, though, so I could eat poptarts again if I wanted to.
Technically, I could have been eating them all weekend, since Lent officially ends on Holy Thursday, but in most people's heads Easter Sunday is the end of Lent the same way that December 31, 1999 was the last day of the last century. The official end of Lent, like the official end of the century, doesn't hold up to the general perception.
It's a moot point, anyway. I don't have any poptarts in the house.
That I gave up anything for Lent is kind of a surprise. Most years I just sarcastically announce that I've given up church, Jesus, going out with girls, etc. but this year I felt like giving something up in the serious sense, not the facetious one. I'll save my sarcasm for things like this, instead:
Are those not horribly inappropriate on Easter?
Anyway, I didn't give up poptarts because I've suddenly decided to start going to church again or anything like that. I still have the same aversion to organized religion that I've had for years, but that doesn't mean I don't believe in something. I'm not an atheist, as much as I've tried to be. There's some stubborn little sense of something clinging inside me no matter how hard I try to squash it out.
Do I believe in God? No, not if you mean the "Santa for grownups"/magical old man in the sky who watches everything you're doing and takes the time to care about whether Tim Tebow wins football games or Jennifer Hudson wins an Academy Award. I don't believe in the God of Intelligent Design, either. That, to me, just seems like a sneaky way to repackage creationism to get it back into schools. Saying God made the world in six days or God made the world in four and half billion years is still expressing the same idea, no matter how you revarnish it.
On the other hand, I'm not an atheist. I probably should be. I believe in science, evolution, and things that can be proven. On the other hand, I believe in something greater. Call it karma, call it a force for good, call it positive energy, call it something that I don't have the words for because I'm not a theologian or a philosopher, but I believe in something despite an appalling lack of evidence for it. Having considered both sides of the argument, I choose to have faith rather than believe in nothing, but it's on my terms. I don't go to church, but I do pray every night, mostly for my friends and people I know, or people I read about online who seem to be in trouble, and fairly frequently for Lindsay Lohan.
What? Are you really going to suggest that Lindsay Lohan doesn't need all the help she can get?
Anyway, like I said, this year I gave up poptarts for Lent even though I don't actually celebrate Lent. Mostly I did it to be supportive of my friends, who gave up things like meat, cable television, and soda, and to be respectful of their sacrifices. I don't know that going without poptarts for this long changed me in any way in a spiritual sense, but I did lose six pounds and discover that Kroger's lite yogurt comes in some really delicious flavors, so it wasn't a total loss. There's also every chance that it had some sort of benefit that I haven't realized yet.
Either way, have a happy Easter, whether it's by going to church, going for a walk, baking a ham, hitting a bar, or whatever else you choose to do. Just find something that makes you happy and celebrate that.
Whatever your happy thing happens to be.