I didn't grow up really celebrating the Lenten season, but when I went to Westmont I learned about the anticipation of Jesus' death and resurrection and how poignant that can be in my spiritual life. Christmas always had a well-known season, should Easter not as well?
I guess people don't get as excited about fasting, sacrificing, or surrendering earthly pleasures with the purpose of drawing nearer to their Savior, as they do holiday parties, egg nog and such. Understandable. I was (am?) right there with you.
So a few years ago, I went to chapel one day and someone put some gray stuff on my forehead and I was ushered in to the Christian tradition of Lent. Over breakfast burritos in the DC I discussed what superfluous (borderline sinful) indulgence I should give up. Dessert? Way too hard. Carbs? (Note how my Lenten sacrifice begins to resemble a diet). No, I need bread. TV? I don't watch it anyway. Gossiping? Oh, that's a good one.
I settled on Diet Coke. Let me tell you, it was rough.
Since that first season I haven't really participated wholeheartedly (that is, faithfully), and ironically, while living in one of the most Catholic countries in the world, Lent totally escaped me last year. So this year, I have been thinking about what I could abstain from that will give me more time to focus on the Lord and spend time meditating on Him and reading His word.
Don't make fun of me. Facebook.
To be honest, I didn't really think I was one who fbooked excessively. Maybe in college, but not now. However, since I added the fbook app to my iPhone, it has become a compulsion. Every time I drive between clients, have an awkward 5-10 minute break, or just can't wait to see which of my friends has the wittiest status, I just press the little icon. I haven't checked it all day, and let me tell you, I already feel disconnected. I also don't have fbook notifications sent to an email address that I ever check so I am totally out of the loop.
I'm really looking forward to the next 40 days though. I anticipate this "sacrifice" in particular doing a lot to foster that "otherworldly" mindset.
So, if you need to contact me, well....yeah, so there are still a number of virtual ways you can do it (email, blog, text), but maybe some of you will pick up the phone! Exciting. ;)
p.s. Props to Michele who inspired this decision. We'll be accountability partners;)