[P.S. FULL DISCLOSURE: I’m eating a chocolate donut while writing about fasting!]
I am not very good at fasting–so sometimes I think about other ways to “give up” something in order to have time for the really important things in life. For example, there is nothing wrong with relaxing with a little “screen time” (TV, social media, YouTube, etc.), but most of us would agree, it’s easy to get roped into spending an hour or two with our “screens” than what we originally intended. So sometimes I have given up some television time during Lent–and I find I suddenly have more time on my hands.
It’s not that what we are viewing is wrong (hopefully not), but rather that some of us (myself included) slip into habits involving increasing screen time–and without realizing it, we are saying things like:
- “I don’t have time to read the bible”
- “I don’t have time to go to church”
- “I don’t have time for exercise”
- “I don’t have time to read a book to my child”
- “I don’t have time to volunteer”
We live in a time when people are working very hard to make ends meet–I’m not saying it’s easy to find time. Neither am I saying that anyone should feel they have to “earn” God’s love or feel guilty about things (such as TV) that are basically a part of life in our times.
However, it is good during Lent to ponder how we use our time. We humans are limited creatures–we have a limited number of hours in the day, and a limited number of years in our lives. Lent is a good time for us to examine:
- What are my priorities?
- What is most important in my life?
- Is there anything I might want to leave behind in order to do something else of greater value?
Lent is a good time for experimenting with this sort of thing. It gives us a time frame in which to try out something new and see how it works. Some of my past Lenten experiments were of great help to me–and others didn’t work out so well. However, even the ones that “failed” were good learning experiences for me.
God be with you in your Lenten journey.
Until next time, Amen!