Friday, March 4, 2011

Staying Plugged In

With Lent right around the corner, I have been thinking about how I can grow in my relationship with Christ through new committments to prayer, sacrifice, and almsgiving. While one's Lenten resolutions are ultimately a personal matter, I have enjoyed hearing the ideas {and encouragement} of other bloggers lately.

One idea that has come up a couple times is to fast from the computer {or the internet or social networking sites or blogging} during Lent.

I can definitely relate to needing detatchment from my computer...and each year for the past several years, I have implemented some variation of that fast {typically just limiting my time on Facebook to ten minutes each day}.

But this year, I need greater detachment.

I am not going to give up the computer/internet entirely {though that certainly is a huge sacrifice, and I support those who feel called to it}, but I am going to stay "plugged in."

Let me explain...

The easy part:

I like being able to stay plugged in to what is going on with my family and close friends across the US, and Facebook is a great tool with which to do that, since neither Luke or I live near our families. I love seeing pics of my siblings and their kiddos online, leaving them messages, emailing, skyping, etc., and I don't feel called to give that up entirely. {I do appreciate old fashioned letter writing and personal phone calls for sure, but it is so easy, quick, and convenient to communicate via the internet sometimes}.
Also, per Pope BenedictI's J.10 Initiative {you have to scroll down a bit}, blogs, status updates, link sharing, quote sharing, etc are great ways to spread the Word. {As neat as it is to see "Lent" pictures instead of friends' faces on FB, I do miss the holy inspirations these same people share on FB during the rest of the I will make a conscious effort to contribute to FB in a positive way over Lent}.
Now for the hard part:
I am going to stay, literally, plugged in. That is, I am going to plug my computer into the wall in our office upstairs on Ash Wednesday and leave it there until Easter.
Currently, my laptop resides in our living room 95% of the time. It is way too accesible. I find myself logging into Facebook 47 times a day for no good reason;
refreshing my email several times a day, only to reveal gobs of new marketing messages from the likes of Chilren's Place, Shutterfly, and CVS--clearly urgent stuff;
googling everything {how to peel a shallot, reviews on toys, substitutes for all sorts of ingredients, medical symptoms, new recipes, quotes, pictures of baby teeth coming in, directions, word definitions, etc etc etc}. I'm not going to lie, google is AWESOME, but I will be a little more selective about my searches when they entail a trip up the stairs and into the office, Augustine in tow.
There always seems to be a reason for me to get on my computer real quick, and, to be honest, it's really getting to me. As one of my favorite authors has said, "You can never get enough of what you don't really need"...and that is how I feel about my computer lately.
I know keeping my computer plugged in upstairs will greatly reduce the amount of time I spend on it, yet I will still be able to socialize online in moderation.
It will be so freeing, as sacrificing often is. And I will inevitably find more time for prayer and reading, among other things.
So that's my plan. It's going to be tough. But I know it's what I need.
I wish you all the best this Lent as you strive to grow in your relationship with God!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you've thought this out! Best wishes as Lent begins. I'm going to wake up about 20 minutes earlier on work days, read my Magnificat Lenten companion, and fast from the radio while commuting. My commute will be used for prayer and silence instead. I'll also be contributing to a Lenten blog series!