Monday, March 8, 2010

Confession Time

I like Coca-Cola. I always have. I was raised on Coke. Pretty much every time we sat down to eat "supper" as a family the beverage served was Coke on ice. That's not to say I didn't enjoy a good sweet tea at the church pot luck or a nice pink lemonade on a hot summer's day, I just preferred Coke.Up until the time I married and moved, there was a coke machine in the gym at my home church that still sold 6.5 oz. bottles for a dime. I used to have chugging contest with my buddies after youth chour practice on Sunday evenings.

Later in life I did branch out. I enjoyed the occaisional Dr. Pepper or Root Beer (IBC in a cold bottle). I grew to appreciate Creme Soda and Mountain Dew but there's is still nothing quite like an ice cold coke in that 6.5 oz glass bottle.

So why am I waxing eloquent on my fondness for this caramel colored carbonated thirst quencher?

Because I can't have one and I want it.

"Ah", you're saying to yourself, "he's given up soft drinks for lent."

Not exactly.

Growing up Southern Baptist, we never observed Lent and I still don't, technically.

What I have done is take the 40 Day Water Challenge from Blood:Water Mission. The challenge does fall within the season of lent, which I suppose is convenient for those who do observe it, but for me that's just coincedence.

What is the challenge? Simple. For 40 days my only beverage is water. No coffee (that hurts in the mornings and sometimes on these chilly winter evenings), no tea, lemonade, root beer, Dr. Pepper, creme soda or the real thing ... Coca-Cola. Then at the end of the 40 days the money I would have spent on beverages is donated to Blood:Water Mission's efforts to provide clean water projects for villages in Uganda.

So why take the challenge?

Two reasons.

Obviously one is to raise a few dollars for Blood:Water Mission.

The other, which to me is the more important, is to enter in some small way into the sufferings of others.

You see the reason I like Coke, or for that matter coffee, is the taste. This 40 day challenge is a reminder to me that I have it easy. I can have a tasty carbonated beverage any time I want it with a simle drive to the nearest retailer or a quick stroll to the vending machine. But what if I lived where there were no tasty beverages? What if water was all I had and getting that might mean a long daily walk to a community well?

So since Feb 17th water has been my only beverage. I could fudge a bit, drink warm water with lemon or have a sparkling water to soothe that carbonation crave ... but I won't. Until April 3rd it's water.

Just water.