Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Lent

Today is Fat Tuesday, mardi gras as the french call it. People, of mostly Catholic nations and regions, party hard on this last day before Lent. It is one last blow-out before Lent, which is usually marked by fasting, devotion, and penance before the celebration of Easter. Of course, most people participating in Mardi Gras and Carnival do it for the party and have no connection to the lenten season. It's just another excuse to stay up all night drinking, dancing and creating memories that they will probably regret the next morning.

I don't come from a liturgical tradition such as Catholicism, Lutheranism, Orhtodoxy, etc.; however, I usually participate in the tradition of fasting from something during Lent. So, without further ado and with as much fanfare as I can muster this morning, I hearby proclaim my intentions:

1. I will not read or comment on any other blogs, beginning tomorrow.

I waste a lot of time surfing blogs, commenting here and there and just generally being distracted by thoughts and controversies that have nothing to do with my actual life. Already being overly analytical, I don't need the loss of time and the distraction that keeps me from spending more focused time with God.

2. I will dedicate at least 2 blog postings per week on Scripture/Devotions.

This is merely an effort to focus my mind on more valuable things then recalled peanut butter; although, I am sure that I will still have plenty of inane things to say here and there.

3. I will limit my TV time to one and a half hours per day.

This will be the most difficult to stick with. I don't watch much during the day; but, at night, I tend to resort to mindless TV watching out of boredom and fatigue. That wouldn't be so bad if network programming wasn't so against everything that I believe in. I watch stuff that isn't great out of a lack of options; but, that shouldn't be an excuse. I will still watch Lost, Heroes(although that's kind of dark), and Stargate. Yes, I know that my TV habits sound like those of a fifteen-year-old boy. I will still watch Gilmore Girls too--just for my chick-flick side.

OK....maybe I am missing the point here. It still sounds like a lot of TV. I just have to think of it in terms of about one TV show per day. It may not sound like much of a sacrifice; but, I challenge any normal American to try it. You'll soon realize that you watch much more TV than you think.

Well, I think that those goals will be enough. I could say that I would do more; but, I don't want to overreach my abilities.

Let me know what you think. If you are going to give something up for Lent in an effort to focus more intently on Christ, leave a comment. I am curious to see what others are doing this season.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

The challenge I've always had with fasting is using the time that I've freed up, by giving up whatever it is I am fasting from, for more productive purposes. While I start with noble purposes to use the time I would have spent eating, watching TV, or whatever it is I'm giving up, for prayer, Bible study, or other ways of drawing closer to God, I end up becoming "lazy" and using the time for less productive endeavors (e.g., surfing the web, day dreaming, or sleep). And ultimately what that reveals to me is my lack of, or at least misguided, purpose in my fasting. After all, while abstaining from food, TV, etc may help me lose weight or waste less time, the ultimate motivation of fasting is to give up something that you want/desire and to put God first. It's about setting aside the "mine" mentality and refocusing on a "thine" mentality.

terri said...

I can empathize and agree with your position.

It is my hope that, by closing out the many media I consume, it will help my thoughts to have more clarity and be less distracted by meaningless things.

I hope that this Lent season will be a blessing for you.