But ya know what? In my mind, I was counting down the hours (then the minutes and eventually the seconds) until midnight rolled around so I could gorge myself stupid on leftover Chinese food.
It's quarter after midnight, the plate is empty, and I feel like a cheat.
Does it really count as a proper fast when you're counting down like that? I can't imagine Jesus was going "Okay, just a few more minutes of this crucifixion business before I can finally call it quits."
That realization makes me feel like such a wimp. It's not like He asked me to give up food for a week. He didn't even ask me to give it up for a whole day. So why am I shuffling around as the last seconds tick by on Friday so I can devour the pork fried rice on a technicality?
This fasting stuff is just not for me. I'm terrible at it. Gluttony and I? We get along so well - especially when she's dressed up in Chinese takeout. And pizza.
But I digress.
Lent is about penance, prayer and almsgiving. As Archbishop Chaput said, prayer is the center of this Lenten chain since prayer reorders us properly to the Light of God. Penance and almsgiving (a proper reordering of our relationship to self and others) comes naturally from a prayerful attitude.
My shuffling around in anticipation of midnight isn't what I'd call prayerful.
So I guess I need to focus a little more on the prayer aspect of Lent. I can't do the penance / almsgiving portion right if I don't have that centerpiece in place, can I?
I need to work on this whole "dying to self" business. May we all reach the end of Lent as professionals. ;)