Recently I was having a conversation with one of my fellow student pastor seminarians about liturgy. I grew up in a church that did not follow the liturgical calendar very closely and that didn’t practice special days and seasons such a Ash Wednesday and Lent. As I expressed to my friend, since I became a Methodist I have really enjoyed studying the traditions and liturgy and have a deep appreciation for them now. While I do not consider myself dogmatic, I do love the details of the different seasons and the major feast days on the Christian calendar.
One of the seasons I have really come to appreciate is Lent. As I mentioned above, I didn’t grow up observing Lent but since I have started I have found that I truly can focus more on God when I give up something that distracts me. I have come to realize that in order to get the most out of this season, I must give up something that is one of my biggest distractions. I love Facebook, Twitter and basically any other form of social media. I love the interaction, being exposed to different points of view than mine, and keeping up with events with people I have known all my life. I also realize that I spent a lot of time concentrating on these things. While they are great, they can be a distraction. Those area the reasons I decided to give up my social media (exceptions made for messenger, maintain church social media, and this blog) for Lent.
What do I hope to gain out of it? First, I want to focus more on my own spiritual development. This has been one of my major goals for the year in general and giving up social media for a season will allow me to more fully put new spiritual practices into practice as well as doing more of my current practices. I also hope to experience more peace. As much as I love social media, it’s often noisy and sometimes downright nasty. I find myself growing angry over things I find out about through social media; this is not something I like about myself. In short, I believe putting down my personal social media and picking up those things that draw me closer to God more often will be good for me.
I made a post to my Facebook page last night explaining that I would not be posting due to this Lenten fast and I closed with a thought that I will also close this blog post out with: What can you pick up in order to bring you closer to God? What can you let go of?