We are just about halfway through Lent, a season of penitence, sacrifice, and reflection. Many of us take action on the sacrifice portion in giving something up as we reflect on Jesus giving up himself for us. The season of Lent offers us something deeper than just “giving something up”. It is an opportunity to not only sacrifice, but to draw closer to God through that sacrifice.
This year for Lent, I decided to “give up” social media. On Ash Wednesday, I deleted the Facebook and Instagram apps off of my phone to help the cause. Prior to this Lenten season, I found myself starting my mornings and ending my evenings on my phone, scrolling and consuming content on social media. I felt like I was spending too much time on my phone with trivial things. After all, our lives are reflective of how and where we spend our time. Our smartphones can even tell us how much time we’re spending on our phones per day, and where that time has been allocated. You can probably guess which apps I was spending the most time on (Hint: It wasn’t Bible Gateway) . Like all things, social media can serve a purpose that is positive, but can also be made into something that’s not if we let it. I felt myself moving more toward the direction of the latter, so it was time for a shift. Honestly, I haven’t missed it all that much.
What this season of Lent has offered me through my sacrifice, is finding more opportunities to abide with the Lord and to be intentional. To me, that has looked more like starting my day in prayer (as the first thing I do), journaling and diving deeper into personal reflection, and worshiping God through song (aka blasting worship music while I’m running or working out). These are things that I do pretty regularly to find rest, but I’ve found myself doing them more often over the past couple weeks. I also have found myself being more intentional with relationships and present to where I am, not present to my smartphone. In doing that, I have been more aware of God’s presence throughout the highs of my day and in the mundane tasks, and thus, more aware of what God is doing and how He is working in my life.
As we approach Holy Week and Easter, consider how you are abiding with the Lord. What is distracting you or keeping you from knowing God and yourself more deeply? Are you drawing closer to him in your sacrifice? Or have you replaced the thing you’ve “given up” with something else that you could afford to lose.