Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent in the Christian liturgical calendar. Yes, Lent– not lint, like that stuff found in your pockets and bellybutton. For six weeks– forty days, and forty nights– Christians around the world will prepare for Easter Sunday through prayer, penance, repentance, almsgiving, atonement, and self-denial. Many people observe Lent by giving up a vice in an effort to become closer to God.
Last year, I gave up social media for Lent. It was a huge period of change in my newlywed life. Alex and I had just decided that we were going to move back to our hometown. Instead of checking Facebook, Twitter, and posting pictures to Instagram, I took the time to look for jobs, read, and paint more. During that time, I secured an interview at my dream job, had a second interview, and was hired just before Easter. It’s amazing what can happen when you focus your energy into the things you want.
This year, while I could avoid looking at my personal social media accounts, I’m unable to give it up altogether. A part of my job responsibilities are maintaining our social media accounts and unfortunately, thanks to the way Facebook and other sites work, I cannot deactivate my personal accounts because I would be unable to access our business account.
Whether you’re a practicing Christian or not, I would suggest you use this time to think about things you do in your life that could use some change. In my last post, I shared a video about regret. Nearly all of the things people regretted in the video included NOT doing something. So for Lent this year, I’m giving up NOT doing things.
So I know what you’re thinking– that’s not really giving something up. No, It’s more active. I’m going to spend more time doing the things that I want to do, especially talents that were given to me that I don’t use. I want to keep a journal for 40 days. It may be a sketch, it may be a blog post, or it may just be some notes on what I ate or thought throughout the day. I’m also going to challenge myself to read more, walk outside frequently, and foster friendships in-person. Alex and I are once again in a season of change. Now that we are committed to this community, I want to build it up.