My God, it has been a long time since I’ve written a blog post!
I haven’t forgotten about this blog, in fact, there is an irritating, nagging voice in the back of my mind telling me that I need to write more. FINE.
Let’s start by talking about Lent. So sexy.
What is Lent?
The 40 days before Easter. A time for reflection on the death and resurrection of Christ. This year Lent starts March 6th and ends April 18th
Catholics view lent as an obligatory and sacred tradition. Lutheran’s and other Protestants see Lent as a voluntary practice of penitence and preparation for Easter.
Why fast for Lent?
It’s a tangible representation of sacrifice and “dying” to oneself, which is a theme interlaced throughout the bible. Jesus being the pinnacle and greatest example.
My church doesn’t participate in Lent, but I’m a Lutheran at heart and Matthew is basically Anglican so we like to participate regardless.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, especially as we get closer to Ash Wednesday. I’ve come to the conclusion that I will abstain from all forms of digital media during the 40 day fast. No Instagram, no Facebook, no googling things, no junk news. I’m using the digital well being app on my phone to lock myself out of the social media apps, Google chrome and yes, my favorite podcasts. (sorry, Ben Shapiro)
My phone will become utility. Just emails, text and calls. I will get my news from the New Paper, which is a no frills, entirely objective and succinct news recap that is emailed to me Monday through Friday.
Why am I doing this?
The obvious answer is that my use of social media and junk news doesn’t allow me to reflect on Christ’s death and resurrection. It’s an escape from participating in the present, the “here and now”. It does noting to help me or those around me.
Before embarking on his ministry, Jesus spent 40 days in the desert. He relied on the truth to sustain him. He was tempted by Satan to conjure up food and water, because if you’re the son of God, why not? But he did not take the easy way out. What would be the point if he did?
If I am made in the image of God, I too, can sacrifice expedient pleasures to do what is meaningful. I’m intentionally going to avoid the little dopamine drip of pretty pictures and grabby headlines to regain control of what comes in and out of my conscious mind. Even Christ had to guard himself with the word of God to rebuke Satan’s temptation in the wilderness.
“But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ”
Lent isn’t only about what you are going to give up. It’s also about what you will do instead.
I haven’t done the math but let’s say I will have an extra 1.5 hours each day that I would have otherwise wasted on consuming useless and irritating information. In turn, I can use those 1.5 hours daily to strengthen my character and become more useful to those around me. I can become a more attentive mother and wife. I can be a better listener, and I can hone my crafts. (baking, duh) All of which are much better alternatives to doing nothing. All of which, aim a little closer to bringing heaven on earth.
Moral of the story is, I’m looking forward to this coming Lent season! I’m excited to see how much more productive and useful I can be without all of the distractions I usually succumb to.
I realize that in publishing this online, I’m sort of feeding into the social media machine. However, I’m simply going to write my musings on Word, or in this case, Google Keep. I’ll copy, paste, tweak the formatting and walk away.