Every year since I was very young I’ve been coerced into giving up something for Lent. If you don’t know what that is check out the Wikipedia article for loads of information — perhaps more than you need.
Basically Lent is a Christian festival bookended by Shrove Tuesday & Ash Wednesday (that’s Today) on the Winter side and Palm Sunday / Holy Week / Easter Sunday on the other. The period of forty days reflects the forty days that Jesus spent in the desert being tempted, before his final journey to Jerusalem before being tried, sentenced and crucified.
We are told in the Bible that after being baptised by John (the Baptist), Jesus fasted for forty days in the desert. During this time, the devil appeared to Jesus and tempted him. Jesus having refused each temptation, the devil departed and angels came and brought nourishment to Jesus. [source]
Any lenten sacrifice we make is a pale imitation of Jesus’ trials in the desert, but it is part of the journey of a Christian to become more like Christ and as long as what you “give up” isn’t genuinely trivial it can be of benefit.
When I was younger it was chocolate, or sweets, or both which from the perspective of a child was difficult; this year I’ve decided to forsake my Facebook and Twitter accounts from Today until Easter. This is neither equivalent to fasting forty nor a single day, but I do believe it will improve my lifestyle, productivity in work, and encourage me to just turn off the computer instead of wasting time. I’ve decided that instead of consuming so much social media I will instead read more, and write more, hence this first personal blog post in well over a year.
Hopefully I’ll have something to write about.
Are you giving up something/anything for lent?