Today is Ash Wednesday. The start of Lent. The start for many of a season of fasting.
Sometimes the fasts are silly, or may at least appear silly from the outside. Sometimes they are truly sacrificial fasts that last the full 46 days…fasts that most of us wouldn’t be able to sustain.
What is the point?
I’m fasting from FaceBook. Seems a little, silly I know. And actually, I didn’t think to do it until a good friend posted on her wall she was doing so. And apparently she got it from someone else (at least so Reuben claims 😉 ). Why, though, would I take a fast from FaceBook and does it actually accomplish anything?
Well, I’ll let you know after Easter if it accomplishes anything.
I’ll tell you what it is not…it is not a desire to impress God. It is not a desire to follow some rule or law or to make myself somehow better. Those things tend to fail.
It is an attempt to focus. My days tend to be noisy and sometimes things like FaceBook provide a light-hearted distraction and a good chance to keep up with friends…but they add to the noise.
Easter is an amazing reality. Amazing. God conquering our barrier of sin, God Incarnate dying. And raising from the dead.
That is astonishing. Reality changing.
And yet, so often it is just part of the ritual for me.
So, this year I’m going to fast from a little of the trivial in my life. The hope is that in the space that is freed by this there will be time to pray and to think and to be impacted by the reality of what God has done.
I hope to journal a little of that here…not every day, but bits and pieces. Today’s bit is quick and short….hopefully they will become deeper and richer as the days progress.
To be impacted by the reality of a Holy God who has changed everything. Want to join me?
That is really good. I am trying to do similarly, just not completely. I am not going to be playing games and such that I find draining my time. But it is a way for me to keep up with Dewd, while he is away, and I don’t think I really want to not interact with my friends and family so much. It seems that it has become the primary way many communicate, and as I can’t be away from the computer and internet completely, at least I can curb my activities and try to focus on other things. I am also going to try to curb my TV habit. I tend to switch it on for background noise while I study and do school. but I think maybe I will try music or even, gasp, silence. Background noise does seem to keep the dogs from hearing every little thing outside though, so it might be better to go with something over nothing. So, maybe we sill see you back on Facepants later, and I wish you every good blessing during this time.
gomergirl…Hey! I can completely understand why you wouldn’t want to shut down FB completely. And…I’m not suggesting that this is the right thing for everyone. It just struck me as a good thing when I saw my friend post it.
I’ll be praying for you that it is a good season for you as well…that there is just the right mix of silence and sound…I’m sure it is really difficult with Dewd away. Hope to see you around here some more!
Just a few days ago I decided to try and observe Lent. Knowing nothing about it outside of the fact people I respect have been speaking highly of it piqued my interest. So I’m entering in and sort of winging it..
Last night I went to an Ash Wednesday service and received the imposition of the ashes. We were reminded that we will all return to dust barring the Lord’s return yet there is eternal life awaiting.
It was a time of introspection and repentance. I’ve had trouble with repentance in the past because I tend to tie repentance to tears and feelings of grief. Where this has created problems for me is I don’t express or feel emotions as so many do and as a result I’ve questioned my heart in these matters. I will be working on not depending on feelings.
I gave up Words With Friends which is a biggie as I play often and with several people at a time. I thought I’d think on what else might be set aside in the days to come and maybe add something to my list.
I was hoping for ideas of what to read during this time in Scripture to help me stay on track and a link to a lady named Rachel Evans has provided some nice options. If you have suggestions I am open.
I’m not sure what to expect but my desire is to be more like Jesus at the end of this time and to be closer to Him in a personal way. Thank you for this article and the links Sarah.
Hey my friend!
I’m taking Lent a little more seriously this year, but in a different way. I’m going to try to post daily through the season, and post at least one article a day as I do. (The article coming tomorrow is really great….make sure to come back!)
The difference for me this year was not trying to find something that would make me suffer. Does that make sense? In the past I thought of Lent as having to give up something so I suffered through the season and aligned myself with Christ’s sufferings.
That’s not altogether a bad thing….but this year I gave up FB to make room rather than to suffer. I gave it up to make space to pay attention to Jesus’ journey to Easter.
I think we need the reminder of Lent…and Ash Wednesday. We need to be moved by Good Friday, by Easter. I need to. I need to prepare for it. I think that is the main thing that Lent is all about. Preparation.
Hope you’ll keep commenting as we go through this….I always like your insights!
I’ll be back Sarah. I chose WWF because it is time consuming and quite distracting when you participate as I do. I will possibly add to this another thing when I am clear what it will be.
I don’t suffer well if that makes sense. Yet Jesus’ time here was predicated on suffering and sacrifice for people like me. I would like this to become very personal for me in trying to comprehend what took place to secure my salvation. There’s so much ‘noise’ that easily distracts me both of a spiritual and non spiritual nature.
Suffering is something I think I’m willing to endure it that be God’s will for me. I deeply desire His tangible presence to help me through those times. That might be a selfish desire but it’s one I long for. I have so much to learn.
I hear you. I’ll be praying that this season is different for you….that however the practicalities of Lent shake out, that you will indeed know in a different way Jesus’ journey to secure your salvation. Praying we all experience that. I think, genuinely, if it is what we desire, He will bless that…
I wish I could give up Facebook but due to my business I can’t. I don’t ever remember taking lent seriously but living where I do it’s sorta forced on me so giving up things like meat/cheese/dairy during this period sorta seems normal….it doesn’t seem like much of a sacrifice.
Very thought provoking post though….now I have to figure out what to give up 🙂
Phil…I bet it is a different experience in Greece. I’ve never done it perfectly, and this year I’ve not been great even in the first few days…a few things had me back on FB. Still, I have been more aware and thinking more about Easter and Jesus’ journey to the cross. I think that is the point…..to do something that breaks up our routine so that we are able to concentrate on Jesus in a different way.
Check out the article I link to on the Freedom of Limitations thread…it was really helpful to me.
Thanks for coming by!!!
[…] on FaceBook. That sounds trivial, and in the face of what Lent is about it truly is a bit trivial. I wrote last year about giving up Facebook, and I know that giving up games is a token activity. It is, however, an act done in the desire […]