I’m wrestling with what to do for Lent this year. I have been reading some articles and looking for inspiration. I like the idea of a three-pronged approach: fasting, praying, and giving. And I’ll be honest, it’s the fasting with which I’m having a hard time. A couple of years ago I gave up alcohol. Last year I gave up meat for all of Lent. My son thinks I should give up Diet Coke. All of those would definitely provide regular reminders that we are in a season of preparation and contemplation. But none of those is ringing true for me this year.
I read something yesterday that put my thoughts perfectly: “Are those meaningful things to give up for Lent; or just random things you’re challenging yourself to live without?”
Because that’s the goal, isn’t it? Not just to set up a personal challenge but to do something that carries meaning. With that in mind, here are my Lenten obligations:
Fast, Pray, Give
Fast: Give up technology each night. Starting at 5pm, I’ll turn off the laptop, put aside the cell phone and resist the urge to check in on my ipad. Hopefully, I’ll use that extra tech-free time to play a few family games, read a book or simply focus on something that isn’t on a screen.
Pray: Daily Lenten readings & devotions
Give: Clean out everyone’s closet at some point in the next 40 days. Donate what can be donated and dispose of the rest.
I’m feeling pretty good about these Lenten choices. Hopefully each will result in a clearer focus and stronger sense of priorities. Wouldn’t it be nice if I left Lent not just craving sweets but settled into some new, positive habits?