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Mar 03, 2023 02:29PM ● By Gramma Dot

Ash Wednesday was on February 22 and marked the beginning of Lent.  I don’t know much about Lent except that it involves giving something up for 40 days.  I had a Catholic friend years ago who gave up Diet Coke and chips for Lent one year.  I knew how much she loved that combo and was impressed that she was successful in her 40-day sacrifice.  I am familiar with the concept of fasting and try every month to abstain from food for 24 hours.  It isn’t easy.  For me, it is a sacrifice.

We lived in Georgia from 2005-2008.  During that time, Brad, our youngest, learned first-hand what sacrificing was all about.  He left the security of Malad for an adventure in Macon, Georgia.  We had friends in Macon who encouraged us to enroll Brad in private school, but public school was who we were.  Public school, the great American experiment, where all cultures work together to figure it out.  Bradly Boy was in for a little culture shock.

Brad learned on the first day of school in Georgia that you never say just plain old, “Yes” to an adult.  It is, “Yes, ma’am,” or “Yes, sir.”  Your shirt is always tucked in and sweat tea is served with school lunch.  Everyone drank sweat tea.  Everyone except Brad.  He heard about it every day, but he stuck to his guns and kept drinking his milk.  One day he came home from school and was absolutely elated.  He said, “Mom, I am so glad I am not Shreyas.  I only give up sweet tea.  Poor Shreyas can’t eat hamburgers!”  Shreyas was Hindu, and Brad was beginning to see that sacrifice is relative.

That was the beginning of a lot of growth because of sacrifice.  By the time we left Georgia, Brad had friends who did his hair in cornrows because that wasn’t something his mother could do.  We all knew when he was on the football field because his were the only white legs. When he received his Eagle Scout award, our chapel was full of his school friends and teachers who had also learned some things about cultural differences, and evidently they liked what they were learning.  The Good Life, it is what happens when you are willing to sacrifice.

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