Well, lent is just about a week away so I’m trying to decide what to do this year. Last year I gave up Facebook and Twitter along with my space heater and electric blanket. But since I haven’t been using my space heater this year anyway, that’s not really an option. And I want to do something new anyway. The Lord has placed several ideas on my heart and I just don’t know which to pick. There’s a lot I need to work on these days.
1. Wake up no later than 6am (no snooze button allowed either) everyday. And since I don’t need to start getting ready until at least 7 am most days, that extra time will be used for personal prayer and scripture reading. I’m terrible at using my snooze button this year and I’ve been slacking on my morning prayer lately so this is one of the top ideas I’m leaning toward.
2. No gossiping. Walk away from it or say something nice about the person instead. I’ve found myself falling into this more lately. And it’s just not cool. Sometimes I feel like I just really need to vent about something, or rather someone, that is frustrating me, but gossip can be hurtful and it makes it hard to trust. It’s hard to trust people who talk to me about other people. How do I know they’re not talking about me to other people, too? And I know it’s the same for people to whom I gossip. It’s just bad news all around. This one is also near the top.
3.Checking Facebook once a day (probably the evening) for no more than 30 minutes. It’s a major distraction. Enough said.
4.Only buying things I need. I have a shopping/eating out problem. And it’s expensive. I’m a college student with lots of debt so I need to be more careful. Plus God has trusted me to be a good steward of the money He gives me, and let’s face it, I’m not. I also need to trust that God will give me enough to provide what I need and that extra should be given to help others who don’t have enough. I need to learn to be satisfied with that. I need to learn to distinguish want from useful but not necessary from useless but want anyway. This would mean no movies, no eating out (I might make exceptions if it’s for someone else’s birthday or something), no new clothing unless all of mine mysteriously disappears or starts getting holes, etc.
5. No pain meds. This one may seem a bit extreme but I think our world has become obsessed with being comfortable and removing all suffering. There’s an aversion to pain, which is understandable, but Christ suffered more than I can even imagine and He made suffering redemptive. It can be united to Christ’s and offered up on behalf of lost souls. I wouldn’t be seeking pain, but if it arose I would deal with it through means other than medications. I’m finding myself with a strong desire to do this one.
Those are the things I’m thinking of doing. I might do two depending on which ones I choose, but I don’t want to overwhelm myself and end up giving up on all of them. What are some of the things you’ve done for lent that have helped you grow the most? Do you know what you’re doing this year?