So in many ways the past few days have been painful. I crave chocolate like crazy. I'll read a book and I think about it. I'll walk through the kitchen and a pile of snacks will call to me. Valentine's Day is just a few days away, but I've effectively blocked myself from enjoying the fruits of that holiday. Good luck to Seanie getting handmade chocolates; if I tried to make them I'm sure the pressure and the temptation would make my head explode.
In my watercolor class on Saturday we had to paint M&M's to practice cast shadows. Everyone else in the class happily tossed their M&M's down their throats when they were done with the project; mine were shuffled into a plastic Ziploc and thrust to the bottom of my bag. Then our teacher announced that our afternoon project would be painting SEVERAL pieces of candy in a decorative arrangement.
I tells ya, she was trying to kill me.
Today I goofed up a little. I saw a bag of trail mix sitting in our kitchen and without thinking, I grabbed a handful of nuts and raisins and shoved them in my mouth. Just as I swallowed them I recognized that taste I missed so much and realized that there were M&Ms mixed in with the peanuts and the raisins. I didn't even make it a week without touching chocolate!
But, as Seanie pointed out, I didn't do it on purpose. And, as my father said (rolling his eyes in the process, or he would be if rolling eyes weren't beneath his dignity) "I think that God has more important things to worry about."
The moral? Eating chocolate is not a sin, even if you gave it up for Lent. Rather, it's an important reminder that it's really easy to sin if you aren't paying attention, and don't look too closely at the situation you're in (or what you're stuffing in your mouth.) This is the lesson that Lent is trying to teach us - to pay attention! Stay alert! - rather than trying to punish us through denial of a favorite treat.
That said, I still have to do this for thirty-five days. Alas. The things we do for education.