Ash Wednesday, Facebook, Lent, and Chocolate

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. I never know whether to start my Lent observance first thing in the morning or after I get the ashes on my forehead. Since our church doesn't do it until after supper it seems a bit like cheating, getting an extra day in before I give up whatever I have decided to give up. I don't think it really matters though.

I didn't grow up observing Lent, that was one of those "Catholic" things, and our tradition didn't observe "rituals". Now I go to a church that does observe Lent and I have found I rather enjoy it. For the first few years I only went so far as to go to the Ash Wednesday service and get the ashes put on my forehead, but I never gave up anything. A few years ago I decided to try it. Last year I gave up chocolate. All I can say is, 40 days is a long time . . .

This year I was thinking of doing something similar, but then something our Associate Pastor said stuck in my head. He said the point of giving something up was to "make time for God". Somehow giving up food doesn't fit the bill this year. It seems to me that "making time for God" needs to involve something with time.

My first thought was radical, give up Facebook, the internet, Pinterest, blogging, etc. But that seemed pretty impractical since so much communication happens that way now. So I decided to give up Facebook games. I regularly play Words with Friends (my favorite), and dabble with three others. The majority of my time on Facebook is spent with games, so I think this will indeed give me "more time for God".

It may not seem like a big thing, but I don't think Lent is about how "big" your sacrifice appears. It isn't about how it appears to others anyway - it's between you and God.

Have a blessed Ash Wednesday.

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