Sunday, February 21, 2010

Into Temptation

It's day five on my nothing-but-water fast.

Surprisingly, it's been easier than most would have expected. I'm often chided as being "addicted" to diet coke. I describe myself as addicted. I'm asked how many diet cokes I drink a day and I'm scared to admit to them the answer. it's a lot. I probably have a 6 pack a day habit. Maybe even 8 cans. Depends on the day.

With so much caffeine dependence, I can see why people would assume I'd have a difficult time with headaches, tiredness, dizziness, etc. Surprisingly, I've had no headaches.

But I do miss the taste, feel and even sound of a diet coke.

I discovered that, in lent, supposedly, Sundays are a "free" day. A "feast" day. A day where I can indulge in my diet coke. Only I'm abstaining. I don't think I can handle the responsibility. It's either all or nothing for me. And so, until April 3rd I will not consume a diet coke.

It's not that hard; it's hardest when dining out. Pizza and diet coke taste so good together! I haven't ventured out to fast food because I can't even fathom having a burger and french fries without a diet coke.

I'm definitely committed to this, and when it gets really bad I think of my commitment and I think of the money I'm putting towards people in Uganda to have clean, safe drinking water. For a whole year. Such a simple thing..... going without a few diet cokes today will impact a Ugandan for an entire year!


I'm happy to have a reminder. I put on my little 40 Days of Water bracelet daily. It really does help my resolve, and I enjoy sharing about this ministry/cause. Ironically, the other reminder I have is prominently placed in my fridge: Its an ice cold can of diet coke. Just sitting there on the inside shelf of my refrigerator.

For some, this is temptation and the best course of action is to get all cans of diet coke out of the house. But not me. It's my reminder. I find it gives me strength. I feel powerful; I feel I'm overcoming it. I like having it there. It's almost a friend to me.

Mark Twain wrote a short story called The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg. On the last page it says the former town's motto was "Lead us not into temptation" and the new one (after the ordeal the story chronicles) says "Lead us into Temptation" (it would take too long to summarize the story in a manner befitting it) Basically, to have no temptation, no struggle can lead one weakened when struggle and temptation comes up (and it will come up) but if one is prepared, knowing what it means to be tempted and the cost involved, once is more likely to withstand.

For some reason, that lone can of diet coke in my fridge is my beacon of willpower. Perhaps I just like torture. Perhaps I just like the power I have. Or perhaps I just like knowing it is there, waiting for me on Easter.

The big question: Will it taste even sweeter and more desirable since I'll have gone without it for 6 weeks? Or will it (gasp!) lose it's appeal to me?


  1. thank you so much for joining in the 40 Days of Water journey with us for our friends in Uganda. We are encouraged by those who are enduring the 'separation anxiety' from our fixes of beverages. Thanks for sharing your story.
    Mike Lenda
    US Programs Director
    Blood:Water Mission

  2. Thanks Mike!

    I've been very encouraged by this and have a few friends also participating. It makes me feel connected to others; a shared bond. Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity!