Saturday, March 22, 2014

thoughts on lent

This is the third year that my Lenten fast has come in the form of detaching from Facebook for 40-something days. I’ve given up caffeine before (great way to get a Lenten headache and develop latent Lenten irritability). I’ve passed up sweets, TV, and various other components of my day to day existence, but none has exposed my soul to the degree that fasting from Facebook has. That sounds odd, maybe even petty, and I’m mildly embarrassed to admit it. But it’s true.

The thing is, though my other Lenten fasts have required some measure of sacrifice (did I mention the caffeine headache?), or at least heightened awareness, none has really felt like more than an inconvenience. Knowing that the purpose of Lenten fasting is to create spaces to pause and consider God, consider what this season before Easter really signifies in our lives, I would occasionally attempt to turn a caffeine headache into a pained prayer, or a sweet tooth moment into a brief entrée for the holy into the common. If I am honest, though, my awareness of God’s presence was not heightened to any great degree during those particular Lenten seasons. Fasting from Facebook, however, brings into bold clarity something of which I am only vaguely aware most of the time:

I am deeply lonely a lot of the time, and I attempt to use Facebook to fill in my empty spaces.

Well now, that’s embarrassing. As I said, I am vaguely aware of this most of the time. That’s because if I am honest with myself, I know full well that Facebook is actually a pretty shitty antidote to loneliness. Using Facebook as a substitute for human interaction is like using Runts to fill a fruit craving (on what planet does that actually taste like a banana?). I open the page, hope for a notification, maybe scan some photos and statuses (stati?), as if that actually means I’ve had some form of interaction with someone or shared life with them in any significant way. I get a little disappointed, maybe even jaded, and close the window, only to reopen it as soon as a pang of loneliness (or boredom) hits, as if the odds of the Facebook-Fix healing my heart this time are somehow higher than they were 2 minutes ago. Unlikely, and I know it, but I twitch like an addict and type in the address again.

Enter Lent, when no matter how big the twitch is, maintaining my integrity means staying my hand and sitting with my loneliness. It isn’t a fleeting craving for sugar, or a moment before Tylenol kicks in, or a brief interlude while I figure out what to do with the TV off. It’s this huge space in me that aches more than itches. And there, in the vacuum, a space opens for God. There my awareness of my own heart is heightened, and my mind is recalled to a recognition that he has promised to fill that vacuum in a way that no one else will ever be able to do. I recall memories of times in my life when I leaned more fully into the belief that he belongs in that space. And I am keenly aware that these days I daily post a No Vacancy sign so that Facebook can promise company and stand me up again. And again. And again.

I wish I could say that I am awesome, and that Easter comes and goes and I have stopped inviting Facebook over for dinner quite as often. That would be a lie. But I can say that with each passing Lent, I become a little more aware, a little less satisfied by my box of relational Runts. My prayer is that in pausing, in being aware, I also begin to develop deeper habits of inviting God to fill those empty spaces with himself, and let Facebook take its rightful place in the periphery. Fun, but not a fix. Thank God for Lent. 

16 comments: said...

click view your blog. tks :)

Anonymous said...


HiToplay said...

Hittoplay is the place where you can have endless entertainment, Movies in the Songs .Content: Songs, News, Cooking Recipes, Technology, Religion from all around the world on demand or live Naat is just a click away .Quran
Life without entertainment is colorless Religion and we offer the best entertainment Cooking Drama That you could have ever experienced. DiscoveryWe believe in providingSports latest and the best quality,NewsVideo experience.Comedy Shows

abo-bder said...

شركة مكافحة حشرات بالجبيل
شركة تنظيف بالجبيل
شركة تنظيف بالخبر
شركة تنظيف بالاحساء
شركة تنظيف بالقطيف

Aaron Baker said...

I heard that csgo4skin this site is about to launch a new raffle, as well as the chance pumped AWP | Dragon Lore (FN), AK-47 | Redline (FN), M4A4 | Asiimov (FN) ★ StatTrak? Bowie Knife | Fade ( FN) and other awards, we can together look forward to the arrival of this activity.

Trending Topic said...


hitaakademi said...

Ankara'nin en iyi kurye sirketi olan
kurye ankara hizmette
sinir tanimiyor...

abo-bder said...

شركة تركيب باركية بالرياض

hitaakademi said...

Ankara merkezli sanal gerçeklik oyun merkezi kurulum hizmetleri
VR CAFE Türkiye'de hizmet ve faaliyetlerini sürdürmektedir.

hitaakademi said...

Ankara merkezli sanal gerçeklik oyun merkezi kurulum hizmetleri
VR CAFE Türkiye'de hizmet ve faaliyetlerini sürdürmektedir.

hitaakademi said...

Ankara'da profesyonel ağda hizmeti
ankara erkek agda hizmette
sinir tanimiyor...

Anonymous said...

Nice blog !!!
thanks for sharing
mẫu nội thất đẹp tại tphcm
thi công nội thất chung cư hcm
nội thất đẹp tại tphcm

Phu Dang said...

Nice blog !!!
thanks for sharing
ghế sofa vải
sofa góc
ghế sofa phòng khách
ghế sofa
ghế sofa đẹp
ghế sofa da

hitaakademi said...

Ankara merkezli sıramatik sistemleri kurulum ve teknik destek hizmetleri
siramatik Türkiye'de hizmet ve faaliyetlerini sürdürmektedir.

gream said...

Follow the latest online casino news, latest updates with leading casino movement.

Follow the trend of online casino news, latest updates with the leading casino movement Gclub69 we are one of the representatives of online casinos that have been trusted by the casino executives directly to bring you to enjoy. Golden slot Thrill in the way you choose the game is just an example we recommend to help decide on the online gambling casino online. We can not guarantee that 100% of our service is the best you can decide whether or not the top casino in the industry at this time playing online casinos.

Whether you are playing more than 200 gambling games, if you want to increase your chances of winning or losing money, one thing that can help you is to plan before playing. สล็อตออนไลน์ We will introduce a plan to play a good online casino, you can try to use the following to promote online casinos, the first thing you have to consider is that you have the expertise to play the game. What type of gambling is best when you choose to start planning your play? Starting from the first you have to determine how much money to invest.

bfreetheme said...

Free Blogger Theme, Free Blogger Template