This time of year when Lent is almost here, I read posts on my Facebook feed about people changing up their usual days by “giving things up for Lent”. This is something people I know did for as long as I can remember. I became aware of people of the religious bent that I was most heavily involved with, starting to do this themselves in the 80’s (maybe it was always a thing for my circle, but I was seriously busy for a few decades, so maybe I wasn’t paying attention).
What I understand most people are doing is refocusing something they thought they have been too interested in and refocusing their interests on something they feel they should be more interested in. That covers chocolate to Facebook.
I have read that fasting is not a bad idea health wise as long as it doesn’t go for days. Some people do that on an regular basis for that reason. Giving up the consumption of chocolate is also not a bad idea. There are benefits of eating dark chocolate, but the sugar in chocolate is just trouble. I would know. It would be even better to give up a meal of all chocolate. Again, I would know. It might even be beneficial to give up a meal of chocolate while on Facebook. That’s right, I would know
I know people who have gone off Facebook during Lent. I too have taken a vacation from it that lasted for maybe… 2 days, but it wasn’t “for Lent”, I think it was during the election cycle. I would think that Jesus would just say, “What? I took care of all the score keeping. I brought you love, so get on with love.”
If I would have quit Facebook even during the last month then this is what would have happened; I would not have learned about the deaths of 3 people. Why is this important? I would not have had the opportunity to tell the survivors that although I don’t know their exact pain, I am with them in friendship. I wouldn’t have had really great private message conversations with people I don’t usually talk to, but are connected with on Facebook. I got to tell them to take care of themselves and to wish them well. They also did that for me. Nice.
Then I got to tell three couples in the last two months how delighted I am that they are going to be wonderful parents after they posted about these momentous events. How is that not a great opportunity?
I wished two couples more anniversaries. It is a big deal to be happily married and it is good to support that. More love shared.
In the last two months there were opportunities to wish 50 people a happy birthday. To tell someone that you see them and now have acknowledged them is priceless in anyone’s part as a human. Some people hide out on Facebook and are just lurkers. That is ok. It is nice to call them out for a “I see you and you matter!”
I will not be giving up anything “for Lent”. I could use some major modifications in my diet, my attitude, my walking around on the planet, how I represent Jesus….but that is every day. If it helps your spiritual life, then rock out, but beware of other missed opportunities.