Lent 2018 is in full swing. It started on Valentine's Day. I haven't done anything for Lent in a few years or so. It's mainly because I don't know when it starts. But this year I made the conscious decision to know when it started. I was debating on if should do something. Each time I did Lent, I gave up the same thing. I gave up junk food (pop, chips, candy, ice cream, and even dessert). I know with me being diabetic, I should not be partaking in these items. Old habits are hard to break.
I was doing well not eating or drinking these items when I first became diabetic in 2015. I need to get back to how good I was doing. I was doing well. But we all have something we could consider a weakness. If you say you don't have a weakness, I call bullshit on that. I got past the first two days. Although, Valentine's Day, I had some major cravings. But I've didn't give in. I found some alternatives in terms of drink options. Popcorn, whether it is air popped or microwave popcorn, is a great alternative to other snacks. I'm allowing myself that.
In these modern times of Christianity, giving up something for Lent is similar to fasting. It is also a time to reconnect with God. Or so they say. I admit I'm bad for connecting with God. That doesn't make me a bad Christian. Just because you are more with God during Lent doesn't make you better than me. I'm not the perfect Christian and I admit it. But that will not take away from what I'm doing.
With other people being off social media for the duration of Lent, I have thought to myself that it is cliche. One could say that what I am doing is cliche. But if it is for the purpose of riding ourselves of worldly vices or distractions and turning ourselves towards God, than who am I to say anything? But if you are doing it for the wrong reasons, than maybe you need to re-evaluate why you are doing it. It seems hollow otherwise. Sure there are Christians who do it for the wrong reasons. Not only that, but people who practice "secular Lent" do it for the wrong reasons. They use Lent or "secular Lent" as a time for self-improvement. A recent Vox article on "secular Lent" makes great points and explains it well. It's not about self-improvement. A lot of people who practice "secular Lent" don't get that.
Sure it's about giving up vices and distractions and connecting with God, but it is also about suffering, mortality, and death. But the latter three are not as focused on by a lot of people, myself included. I focus on not trying to give in to my vices. That's not necessarily a bad thing.
It would help if you could keep me accountable and not give in to vices. Temptations are real and even though I've never given into them in the past, that doesn't mean I couldn't lapse and give in this time. I am human after all. Those who are giving up a vice or distraction to give up during this season, we are all in this together. Help keep your fellow Christian accountable if need be. I wish you well and the best of luck on your journey through Lent. Godspeed.