Once again I deliberated over what to “give up” for Lent.
I’m not part of any denomination which observes Ash Wednesday or Lent in general, but I always find that this time period leading up the Easter is a great opportunity to let go of some old habits in favor of new, better ones like reading my Bible or praying. I’ve given up social media on numerous years of Lent and chosen to do other things instead of endlessly (mindlessly) scrolling on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. But by the time July rolled around I inevitably found myself creeping back into my old ways of endlessly, mindlessly, … well, you know. Two years ago, I gave up Starbucks coffee (as in spending $$ at Starbucks for coffee). That actually worked in my favor and I am no longer constantly stopping by Starbucks for their iced coffee, which by the way is so good. I don’t turn down Starbucks gift cards when they are given to me as gifts but my number of visits to the coffee shop has been reduced greatly, thanks to Lent 2019.
I have decided that “giving something up” or “fasting” doesn’t necessarily have to be something difficult in order to be a sacrifice. It does however have to be intentional.
What am I doing in 2021 for Lent? I’m working on becoming more intentional about how I spend my “free time.”
An example is this. I’m sitting on the couch, playing Mah Jong on my phone. Time passes. I ask myself, “Is playing a game on my phone really the best use of my time?” I would say, in a few cases, yes. Sometimes we really need to take a break, give our minds a rest, and do something that has no other purpose than to be relaxing. But if I look at the BIG PICTURE of my life, I will probably, no-undoubtedly find that I take way too many breaks and there is more often than naught a much, MUCH better use of my time. Maybe I should read the Bible or even a book I’ve been meaning to read. Maybe I should work on my home-based business. Maybe my time is better served cleaning my office because let me tell you – it’s a mess!
One thing I love to do goes without saying: crochet! For me, crochet is a time for me to listen to audio books, including the Bible, sermons, and fiction novels. I love to pray and chat with God about things while I handle my yarn and hook, and to be honest, it can be a spiritual time for me. Spending this time not only strengthens my faith but also produces items for my shop, so I feel like this activity is the best way for me to spend my free time.
My plan for Lent 2021 is to be intentional about focusing on spending my time on what’s important and not trivial.
Do you observe Lent? If so, what are you doing to observe this season in 2021?