Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Giving Up

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the liturgical season of Lent. Growing up in a Baptist church, this period of time leading up to the celebration of Easter wasn't communicated as significant. While attending Catholic high school, I always thought it was funny to chow down on meat at lunch while my Catholic friends looked on sheepishly (I guess they couldn't eat meat during Lent except on Fridays). I would question them as to why they felt like they had to give up anything since God had given us freedom in Christ, telling them that mindless religious restrictions were useless. I felt pretty smart.

Now a bit more mature in my faith and tact, I'm learning that personal discipline can be beneficial. I'm learning that giving comfort up for the sake of growing closer to God is not only a healthy thing, it's something that Jesus modeled for us. Through fasting, prayer, and poverty, Jesus points out that while we have freedom, we need to give up our comfort for the sake of the Gospel. This isn't mindless ritual; this is spiritual discipline.

So this Lent season, I'm giving up. Specifically, I'm giving up my laptop. I love my Macbook Pro. Katie calls it my "third wife." (My "second wife" being Gus the Intern, I suppose). Until Easter, I'll be leaving my laptop in my office at our church's building. I'll still be checking emails, writing lessons, listening to iTunes, and blogging; it'll just be done between the hours of 9:00 and 5:00. No more waking up to read film blogs with my coffee; no more browsing Facebook until midnight. I've found that my Macbook can be a distraction from things that are more important, mainly my wife and God. I want to be intentional about the time I have throughout the day, and spending countless hours on my laptop might not be the best use of that time. I'll replace the time I spent on my laptop with time with my wife, reading good books, enjoying Scripture, prayer, and maybe even exercising. :) It also means that I'll have to make sure I use my time wisely at the office, as I honestly tend to let some things go, knowing that I can just work on it at home.

I'm giving up this Lent. What could you give up this season in order to grow closer to God?


  1. I love you and am glad you are doing this and you are welcome to join me in the exercising thing any time you feel like it!

  2. Dont join! Dont join! JK. Maybe you should do it...or wait for my arival and we can do it together?