Even though I was raised a Roman Catholic, it was not until last year that I began to actually understand what Lent was all about. 2015 was the first year that I made a serious Lent list. I wrote my list with my best friend. Our #1 thing to fast on was social media. 40 days later, we did it. During that time, which would have been wasted on social media sites, our friendship became even closer. I felt more productive and focused without the constant distraction of Instagram, Snapchat, & Facebook. It was such a relief. Spending time without social media was so refreshing. It reminded me that real life is here & now and what is physically in front of me, not my online presence. Even after Lent our social media usage was not as frequent as it had been before. It is funny how once you get rid of something temporarily and bring it back into your life it has so much less meaning, weight, and importance as it once did.
Last Lent I refocused my attention on what is truly important: real life. My virtual life was gone. This year I am giving up social media again, this time during weekdays. By fasting on social media, I aim to feast on being present, productive, focused, and well-rested (no staying up late on my phone). Rather than reading my friends’ posts, I will spend more time reading the newspaper. Hopefully, this will lead me to be better-informed on current issues on all levels. Also, in the time that I would have spent scrolling, I aim to read the bible and watch messages. Besides this, I am fasting on a few unhealthy foods on campus. This morning I was reading through ideas of what to give up for lent and found a beautiful story of how someone gave up unhealthy foods in order to treat the body as a temple. This really resonated with me, so I am cutting out a few foods here- among those is Starbucks coffee. Next, I am giving up staying up late (past 11 p.m.). I have been trying to go to sleep earlier this quarter anyway. I have found that the morning is actually a really great time to be productive. I was never a morning person until college. Strange, huh? My final Lenten goal is to pray for a different person every day. Spending time focusing on one person a day will cause my thoughts & prayers to be deeper and more meaningful.
The Basics of Lent:
- Christian celebration in preparation for Easter
- from now until March 24th
- 40 days total (Sundays don’t count)
- Purpose: is to refocus on our spirituality & relationships with God
- Fasting & abstinence
For more information or inspiration I recommend visiting these sites:
Even if you don’t really understand what you should be learning during Lent, I strongly recommend giving up a few things / fasting. The learning will come. You will learn about yourself, your values & priorities, and God.