As a Christian, I'm a big fan of Easter. It's the annual celebration of the resurrection of Jesus that changed the world and changed my life. I didn't know what "Lent" was until I was in college. The religion department at Belmont is a wonderful mix of people. There were people who grew up in more traditional settings, and they were familiar with creeds and liturgy and old hymns, and there were people like me who grew up in less traditional settings. I didn't know the creeds or anything about liturgy or lent or advent, so I had to adjust my thinking. If you're like I was, I encourage you to read up on the Church and the history and where these traditions come from. There are excellent resources available. Take advantage of that.
So I started observing Lent at Belmont. What started as an experiment to see if I could really go without something for 40 days became something I looked forward to every year. I've continued to observe Lent since graduating, and I've also participated in other times of prayer and fasting. The significance of Lent is not punishment. It's not God saying that I cannot have something for 40 days. It's me saying "Jesus, I acknowledge everything You gave up for me. So for this 40 days, I'm giving up _______ and instead of doing that, I'm going to fix my eyes on You." It gives you the chance to put distractions aside and focus on Christ as the time of His death and resurrection comes around each year.
In years past, I've given up Facebook, TV, soft drinks, meat, desserts, carbs, and the list goes on...
This year, I'm taking social media off my phone. Getting an iPhone changed my life. Literally. I love my phone. Some of my friends would say that i'm never without it and that I would probably die if I lost it, but I don't think that's true. I think I have it all the time because I can...not because I have to. But I have started to notice that I've been using it as a security blanket. If i'm in a situation where i'm not completely comfortable, instead of adapting, what do I do? Check Twitter. Get on Facebook. Scroll through Pinterest. Comment on someone's Instagram post. Well, I'm giving that up. I took the apps off of my phone. I'll still be reachable through those mediums, but if you need to get in touch with me, your best bet will be phone calls, text messages, and e-mails. On my lunch break, I'll still check in on Facebook or Twitter because that's how the girls in my Life Group communicate, and I am getting rid of my social media apps to intentionally connect with others. So if that's how they talk, that's how I'll listen.
I'm also giving up sugar. Kind of. I'm still going to eat fruit. But no Girl Scout cookies, cake pops, frozen yogurt, cupcakes, sweet tea, lemonade, etc.
I can't decide which thing will be hardest to go without: Twitter or Frozen Yogurt? Haha.
Anyway, I'm hoping to get a lot done and get to know some people better over the next 40 days and to honor God in the process. Thank you in advance for whatever prayers you throw my way. If you see me, tell me what you're giving up too.
Peace be with you.