I got a bit of news today. More like a news update really because I already knew it was coming.
New Belgium Brewing, of the Fat Tire and the uber Green production facility in Colorado has chosen its Michigan distribution network (it’s a huge one, and full of AB houses, just ‘cause they’re “green” doesn’t mean they’re stupid). We can expect our first cans, bottles and draft handles in August.
I congratulate the marketing folks there. Michigan is a state already well-known as a craft beer mecca. Why not invade — or, uh, make — your offerings available to the masses who’ve already been educated about what is good beer and what is not. Well done. Really.
Now on with the real subject of my musings this day: Lent. Raise your hand if you really believe that giving up a vice is a way to enter into Lent. Come on. Get ‘em up there. Or is it actually a sort of “second chance resolution moment” for those of you who can’t manage to exercise longer than three weeks in a row or stop smoking or whatever you vowed to do while drunk off your butt on December 31, 2011?
Do not get me wrong and spare me the righteous indignation. I can hear you huffing and puffing from Ann Arbor. I’m a preacher’s kid. I know all about the reasoning behind it — at least from a purely Protestant standpoint. And in theory, giving up a “vice” is usually well-advised for most adult humans.
But the difference between how I was taught to approach “Lent” was less about me, and more about focus on the somber nature of that moment on the liturgical calendar. In other words, it wasn’t about me and what I could sacrifice, but about Christ, and how He became one. (Not preaching just telling you how this gal was raised — i.e. in the church and I will spare you some of the stuff I got up to in the building itself).
Any small gesture we might make in terms of “giving up a vice” had very little to do with how The Big Guy would feel about us in the long term. That is sort of my lapsed PK shorthand but you get me.
That said, I have heard tell of some folks giving up beer for Lent. Let me just remind you that beer is good for you. That is to say, in moderation — like everything else including the good-for-you-stuff like water and apples. (Have you ever eaten too many apples? Urgh, not a good feeling).
So my offer is this: All of you fine, well-meaning but deluded individuals who think giving up beer, wine, chocolate, potato chips or sex for Lent gets you closer to heaven can simply pass your vices over to me. I’ll take ‘em all. Well, except chocolate. Wouldn’t want to go up a jeans size during Lent.