No, it’s not what you think.
Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Christian season of Lent. This marks the observation of the forty (or so) days leading to Good Friday and of course Resurrection Sunday.
Lent comes providentially to reawaken us, to shake us from our lethargy.
– Pope Francis
A lot of good things can be said about fasting, and it’s not all about food. Sometimes it’s setting aside the things that might be consuming us, distracting us, misleading us.
I know a lot of folks tend, or try, to give up social media for Lent.
Depending on your reasons for using social media, that might be a good thing.
Maybe you’re giving up chocolate, or sugar, or alcohol.
Or a combination of those things like chocolate wine, which shouldn’t be a thing, but it is.
Maybe your faith tradition, or lack thereof, doesn’t observe Lent. I didn’t grow up in a church that put a lot of emphasis on the season.
And that’s okay.
Still, the setting aside of things can be healthy. Taking out the distractions can help us narrow our focus, or goals.
As I’m writing this, I’m not exactly sure what I might be giving up. I don’t want to give up something just for the sake of saying that I did.
For me, the purpose of Lent is that it’s a spiritual exercise. A spiritual discipline.
I have endeavored to be more deliberate about that this year and have been fairly consistent with my goal to read
through the Bible.
It’s a challenge, but hey, I’m through Leviticus and almost through Numbers, that’s half the battle.
So to speak.
But I am also aware that, particularly on a cultural level, we Christians haven’t always been the best examples or the best followers. I could say a lot more here, but I won’t.
Let’s be clear, the only finger I’m pointing is the one that’s directly back at me.
If I were a choir, I’d be preaching to it.
That’s what Lent is about for me.
Am I understanding what he said?
Am I hearing what he’s saying now?
What am I willing to give up to answer those questions?