"Who can tell me what Lent is?" I asked my class of public elementary school children a few years ago.
"I can!" said Gina. "It's the stuff that comes out of your belly button!"
The class laughed, I laughed, and then I corrected her.
But, now that I think about it, in a way that's exactly what Lent is. It's a navel gazing time when we examine ourselves for dirt, for clutter, that doesn't belong where it is.
I've given up all my favorite foods before, the ones that just happen to start with "c": candy, cake, cookies, ice cream, Coke, chocolate.
I've given up shopping before, everything that wasn't a necessity. No books, no perfume, no indulgence whatsoever.
And then, there was the lesson I heard a few years ago on giving up guilt. Discouragement. Pride. Fear, anxiety, blame, unforgiveness. Whatever it is that's a burden in your heart.
As Lent begins tomorrow, it's interesting to consider what we'll do. There's always the option of doing nothing. But, even if you don't believe in Christ, it's an interesting exercise in discipline. To see what unnecessary thing we can rid ourselves of for the next 40 days. Or, hopefully, forever.