A lot of people I know are giving up social networking (blogs, twitter, facebook) for Lent. I’m not. I’ve thought about it though. Long and hard. Well, kind of long and kind of hard. I know I don’t have to go through the rigamarole of explaining my decision, so I’ll just make a couple quick points (observations, really).
I spend too much time on the computer. I get more excited about what’s going on online than in real life. I’m neglecting some things (and some people too). I’m not silent long enough to really hear God’s voice. Oh, there’s more…
But here’s why I don’t feel God is asking me to give up blogging, etc. for Lent. It can be an awfully powerful tool for 1.) sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ and 2.) encouraging women in their walk with Him. I don’t think God wants me to stop doing those things this Lenten season.
And I guess I didn’t really explain my whole take on Lent. I’m going to do that more in the coming days and weeks. I’m not Catholic so, growing up, Lent was foreign to me. When we moved to Columbus three years ago, I was introduced to it in a really neat way. Our church took 40 days to focus on Christ, and it was a really special time. I don’t want Easter (not the eggs and bunnies, but the resurrection of Christ) to come and go without pausing to reflect on Christ’s sacrifice for me. Every Christmas, I try (and fail) to focus more on the reason for the season–Advent and all that. And everything gets so busy and blah and… ugh.
I want Easter to be different. If I can’t take 40 days to slow life down and re-focus my priorities and re-center my life on Christ, well then, what’s the point of my life anyway?
So, here’s the plan (absolutely subject to God changing it at any time and however many times He wants): My computer is going to be on for three 3-hour periods a day. Now, there’s some symbolism for ya. 9am-noon, 1pm-4pm, and 9pm-midnight. Not that I’ll be sitting glued to it that whole time, but it’s just going to be off until my older two are at school and then all afternoon and evening until they’re in bed.
Here’s the other thing: my blog is going to take on a more spiritual focus during these 40 days. Oh, I’m sure I’ll still throw in some funny, but I want to share what God’s doing in my heart, and I want to listen to Him more closely. And I’m going to ask Him what YOU need to hear and expect Him to give me wisdom to pass on to you.
And in my interaction with people (comments on their blogs or what have you) I’m going to do some extra-focusing on building people up, encouraging them to be bold in their faith, sharing words of hope, that sort of thing.
Everybody’s hearing from God in different ways. As Fran, my twitter friend said, “I’m not giving up anything. I’m giving BACK this Lenten season.” I like that. A lot. And my real-life friend, Gail, is giving up her online stuff for Lent, and I love what she has to say about it as well. It’s between you and God, friend. Giving it up, giving back, giving your all, giving your right arm. Spend some time with Him, get to know Him more deeply, feel His heart beating for the world and ask Him where/how He wants you to join His work.
On a lighter note, someone mentioned to me today that she didn’t want her kids hating Lent because it was all about giving up TV and candy. Reminded me of a conversation between Livi and Ava last February (or 2 years ago maybe?)
Two sisters “cleaning” their room on a Wednesday afternoon:
Ava: What’s Ash Wednesday?
Livi: I’m not even going to try to explain it. (2-second pause, then an exasperated sigh) Ash Wednesday is the day you start not eating chocolate for, like, 40 days or something.
(no answer from Mommy, who is stifling her laughter in the other room)
Ava: Mommy!! I can’t eat chocolate!?!?!
I don’t know about you, friend, but I’m looking forward to the next 40 days! I’ve got a feeling God is up to something–at least in this sinful little heart of mine. Have a blessed Ash Wednesday!