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Today was Good Friday. Depending on the way you view the liturgical calendar Lent either ended last night or tomorrow, the day before Easter. This leads to my quandary of the day…do I go back on Facebook and Twitter?
If you count Sundays, I have not logged on to my FB and Twitter accounts now for 45 or 46 days. In some way I didn’t really miss it. I didn’t feel tempted to log on. I took them off my home page list on my browsers and my BlackBerry and I guess the old out-of-sight out-of-mind thing works. On the other hand I had many bouts of feeling isolated which I can only attribute to that lack of interaction which comes from at least keeping up with the doings of my friends.
Did I make use of the time I saved and the loss of distraction throughout Lent in order to spend more time in prayer, study and reflection on God? I did a really good job of it for a while at least. I did, as I planned, spend more time reading books and doing cross word puzzles. I completed my on-line course and prepared two services. I’m really glad I decided to make this sacrifice and it is really hard to believe it has really been so long.
How did you make out? Did you give something up for Lent? However we spent Lent, Sunday morning it is time to celebrate the risen Christ. Sing songs! Shout hosannas! Give thanks that God has given this amazing free gift to all of us!
Lent begins tomorrow and I am going to be off facebook until Easter. If you need to get in touch with me send me an email.
Earlier today I put the above note up on my Facebook page to let my friends know that I would be “away” from FB until after Easter. I then removed FB, Twitter and Goodreads from my home page tabs. I got this idea from a blog I read yesterday about Lent at http://denimdevotion.wordpress.com/2011/03/07/its-coming/ I have tried fasting for Lent in the past but I ended up getting sick so I am leery of doing that again. I liked this idea.
I’m obviously not eliminating computers altogether from my life for the time between tomorrow and Easter. I use my computer every day for work, for teaching, recording grades, recording attendance, etc. I am also taking an online course right now so I will need to be online and on the computer for that, and for doing my blog.
The point of “giving something up for Lent” is to move the focus from whatever clutter usually takes it and on to the word of God, and the life and ministry of Jesus. Of all the things that take my attention I think the computer, and especially social media, are the biggest. I even read the Bible online now. So I’ll dig out my real paper Bible, my pens and pencils, my books to read, and even my crossword puzzle books for the next five weeks.
Have you considered a change in focus for your Lenten season this year? When I was younger I remember kids saying they were giving up things like spinach (which they didn’t eat anyway) and thinking that it was a silly idea. So what distracts you? Don’t look for something that will make you suffer, that isn’t the point. Don’t choose something that will make it impossible to do your job or meet commitments that you need to meet. You may want to choose a little extravagance like that daily Starbucks coffee and put the money you save in your church offering plate or give it to a charity.
In the end, whether or not you give up something for the season, I pray that you have a blessed season of preparation for Holy Week!