A Baptist looks at Lent

Most Baptists (or Protestants, for that matter) don’t make a big deal out of Lent. Or “give anything up”. I remember one Catholic friend in high school told me her mom always gave up cantaloupe for Lent.  Being out of season, it wasn’t too big a sacrifice for her.

But I like the discipline; your small sacrifice forces you to reflect on all our Lord gave up for us. Once I gave up all carbonated beverages for Lent when I was in college. And that was when I had an 8 a.m. class. Early Easter morning I popped the top of a Diet Coke and toasted the resurrection of our Lord. Nobody sang out more joyfully later that day on the Alleluias, I tell you.

This year I’m going to give up pointless Web surfing. (Sometimes, of course, surfing the Web is legitimate – like looking for airfares for our family reunion later this year.)

Specifically, I will remove most sites from my weekday browsing and limit my weekday Internet usage to

  • E-mail
  • Publishing on my blog. It auto-posts to Facebook, so that takes care of that. No hanging around that site.
  • Weather.com
  • Paying bills
  • One news site

Nothing else. In fact, I think I’ll “de-subscribe” from some blogs so I won’t get their updates and be tempted to click over.

It shouldn’t be as hard to do as you might think. For the last three Sundays I’ve been doing an “Internet Sabbath.” I’ve completely unplugged on Sundays. The first one almost killed me; I had never had such an urge to go online! But it’s a wonderful way to slow down and shut down some of the stimuli. It’s so relaxing I now look forward to Sunday afternoons.

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