Lent began this week and Christians all over the world are preparing for Easter. During the 40 days leading up to Easter, some Christians give up something in order to better identify with Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness. What people give up ranges from candy and soda to Facebook and television. I haven’t chosen to give anything up for Lent but below are some nerdy options.
40 days without video games doesn’t sound like very much fun. I went about three weeks without playing video games and I was pretty miserable. There’s something soothing and relaxing about a marathon gaming session. Giving up video games today would also be a lot harder than it was a few years ago. Today giving up video games not only means abandoning the Xbox, PS3 and Wii, but it also means abandoning the phone. While I didn’t fire up my Xbox for a few weeks, every day I was playing games on my phone. Whenever I have a few minutes to kill I play some Bejeweled, Angry Birds or Ticket to Ride. If we gave up video games for Lent, what would we do in the bathroom?
Giving up Netlfix might be more difficult than giving up food. Every day Alycia and I watch something on Netflix, whether that’s 30 Rock, Dirty Jobs or Man vs. Food. Beyond those three shows, Netflix also offers the opportunity to watch so many nerdy shows. Last week I convinced a friend to watch Battlestar Galactica and, because of Netflix, he’s already made his way through the first two seasons. That kind of back-to-back viewing couldn’t take place, though, if Netflix was sacrificed for Lent.
For the past couple years it has been rather en vogue to give up social media for Lent. I’m all for people giving up social media for Lent if they feel like removing them will add value to their lives. My feelings, though, about giving up social media for Lent are best summed up in this tweet I saw:
Giving up social media for Lent? No, I’m not giving up my friends for Lent.
I feel like I could give up video games and Netflix for 40 days; it would be difficult but I might gain more than I’d lose. I feel like I could also give up social media for 40 days but I would lose more than I would gain. My relationships, which are bolstered by social media, would suffer and it wouldn’t be possible to spend time with everyone I wanted to face-to-face.
Lent is a great season to prepare for Easter. Giving something up for Lent is also a great practice if the intentions are good. If we’re giving up candy and soda to better focus on Christ and his work in our lives, that’s great. But if we’re giving up candy and soda to lose weight, then we probably need to refocus our intentions.
What, if anything, are you giving up for lent?