>I was driving in the car this morning, listening to the radio in between my four year olds stories about everything from her friends at church to the butterfly she saw out of her window, to Toby Mac (who, by the way, she thinks should be our next president-too funny not to mention!!).
Ruthie does not have many times when she doesn’t feel the need to chat, and even fewer times when she has nothing to say. Today, however, she happened to quiet down right in time for a news break on the radio. They were talking about Lent and the article from the Wall Street Journal, that is getting a lot of attention, about adults giving up Facebook for Lent. Which got me thinking…
As a stay at home Mom, life can become lonely, routine and tiring. Facebook is an outlet. A link to the rest of the world. It started as something fun, a way to keep in touch with other stay at home Moms, with friends I don’t see very often and with family that live out of state. But all too soon, what was a fun game became a dangerous addiction. Am I staying at home with my kids so that I can sit at the computer and see who tagged who in a picture, who “has ended their relationship” or “poked” me? When was the last time I took my kids for a walk or sat down and played a board game with them? I can tell you this-it’s A LOT fewer and far between then my facebook activity! Am I spending more time on facebook then I am showering my kids with love and much needed attention? Without a doubt!
Now let’s dig a little deeper…Am I spending more time with facebook than I am spending with my Savior? Where do I go when:
I wake up in the morning? To check my facebook.
I feel frustrated? To check my facebook.
I feel sad? To check my facebook.
I feel overwhelmed? To check my Facebook.
I feel lonely? To check my facebook.
It is embarrassing enough to admit these things to myself, it is mortifying to admit them to you. But here I am, in honesty, saying, Facebook has become an idol in my life. All too often I am running to facebook to forget my hurts instead of running to my saviour to heal my hurts. But giving it up?? Last week I tried to check my facebook twice a DAY and it felt like torture, and I only lasted ONE….yes, ONE day! Could God honestly be calling me out of facebook for FORTY days???…I’ve never even THOUGHT about lent! Why now? Why today? Why this? As soon as I got home I sat down and started my research…
The observance of Lent has been around for thousands of years. Research on the subject reveals that the 40 days of fasting is meant to mirror the 40 days that Christ spent in the desert, being tempted by Satan. Traditionally, the church was given specific instructions on fasting from food; what kind of food, for how long, and at what meals. Over the years, the meals changed, snacks were added and now a lot of people that observe lent give up only an item of food, such as sugar or soft drinks, and others choose another route-giving up a bad habit or a hobby for 40 days.
The purpose of Lent is to deny yourself, and focus on Christ. It is to be an act of prayer, patience and self denial. Many people, such as myself, think of lent as a Catholic event but as I researched it this afternoon I was surprised to find out that in addition to the Catholic church, several Christian denominations observe Lent to some degree. It is a touchy subject, many Christians thinking it a legalistic ritual and believing that the free in Christ should not take part in it, while others believe it to be not an obligation, but a personal choice to be decided individually as the Holy Spirit leads. and what do I think?…
I absolutely know that to the Christian, lent is not an obligation, but a choice. And so what do I choose? I choose Christ. I choose to take these next several weeks before Easter to reflect on and spend time with my God. To focus on everything that Christ has done and is doing for me, and to run to him when life is too much. I choose to sacrifice an idol in my life, as I remember the sacrifice He made for me on the cross.
“Then he said to them all: ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.’
Please pray for me during this time as I make this ever so small sacrifice of an idol in my life. My prayer is that God will teach me something through this and that he will reveal other things in my life that I have not surrendered to him.
You can read the Wall Street Journal article at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123509424821028985.html