Giving Up What for Lent?

Jon Swanson is a preacher friend of mine and he wrote this article about Lent.  Then I read an article by Naomi Simson that suggested giving up using your phone in the presence of others for 21 days.  Each year at Lent I try to give up something.  The idea is to give up something to remind us of the way that Jesus gave up his life for our sins.

Ash Wednesday, February 13, kicks off the Lent season.  Lent continues for 40 days until Maundy Thursday, and does not include the Sundays (the Sundays are in Lent, not of Lent) in most Christian religions.  Some people then conclude that Sunday is a day you don’t have to ‘follow the fast’.  Jesus was in the desert fasting, the devil tried to tempt him, for 40 days. I’m pretty sure he didn’t take Sundays off.

The word Lent itself means spring.  Dictionary.com says

 Origin: before 1000; Middle English lente ( n ), Old English lencten, lengten spring, Lent, literally, lengthening (of daylight hours); cognate with Dutch lente, German Lenz  spring

For Lent I’m going to keep my phone in my pocket when I’m with other people.  I won’t be texting, checking facebook and twitter, or surfing the net. My plans are to be in the moment and present with the person I’m with.  That includes meetings, events, and church.  It means lunch with a friend is really lunch with a friend.  It means a visit to mom does not include checking my phone every five minutes.  Don’t be alarmed when I don’t answer the phone or text you back right away.  It just means I’m with someone else and doing my level headed best to be present in the moment.  It also means I’ll be doing that when I’m with you too.

There is a codicile:  I will keep it turned on and if it rings and is my mom, I’ll answer it.  She’s got some health problems and I need to be available for her.  

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