Jesus’s decision in the desert led him into several years of working with and speaking out for the people his society – and ours – thought unimportant: sick people, foreigners, poor people, women, children. The people in power didn’t like to be challenged in Jesus’s day, any more than they do now, and so Jesus faced scorn, derision and, ultimately, death, for his choice to live by different rules.
That’s a far cry from giving up chocolate or coffee for Lent, but there is really no point at all in a Lenten discipline that isn’t about reimagining the world so that it revolves less about our own desires and more about the good of all. When Lent ends, that vision of the world doesn’t. It’s a world that is less about what I want, and more about what we all need, in which the good life for me is unimaginable unless it is also the good life for you.