During the days and weeks leading up to Lent, my children have long, drawn out discussions about what they are “giving up” which means, I, too, am thinking about my own sacrifice.
So many times in the past, I’ve used the Lenten sacrifice as a New Year’s Resolution Redo. Ash Wednesday falls 8-9 weeks after the start of the New Year, which is about the time an assessment will show many of us that our resolutions have started to slip.
So Lent becomes a do-over as we give up sweets, bread, alcohol, snacking, etc. (I leave coffee off of this list because I tried giving that up once and it ended up being 40 days of suffering for those around me even more than it was a sacrifice for me, but I digress!)
In approaching Lent with a “Reset” mentality, are we missing the point of fasting and abstaining?
A little self-reflection makes my own answer, “Yes.”
As this Lent approached, I began the process of discerning my Lenten sacrifice, asking, “Am I choosing this because it has an added personal benefit?” If the answer was yes, I considered maybe it was not the most fitting choice of a Lenten sacrifice.
As an important aside, ALL sacrifices during Lent do have an added personal benefit, in that they are intended to draw us closer to the Lord, help us grow deeper in our relationship with Him, and fill us with a deeper sense of joy at Easter. However, these personal benefits are much different than dropping a dress size!
This year for Lent, instead of giving up goodies, I’m going to give up my time.
If you’re like me, the first thought that jumped into your head was probably, “I don’t have any time TO give up!” I really thought that was true for me until I checked my Screen Time under Settings on my smartphone. It turns out I absolutely do have time to give up.
Maybe you’re like me and also have time to spare that you didn’t realize. Regardless of your sacrifice, always keep in mind that the goal is to draw ourselves nearer to our Lord. And if you DO choose to reduce your screen time, keep us at the Bellator Society in the “exception for spiritual growth” category! 😉