Tuesday, April 17, 2007

after 40 days (I feel like Noah) ...

For the 40 days leading up to Easter, my Lenten spiritual discipline has been fasting from wasting time on the computer. This 40 days have been extended past Easter with final exams in the last week. But now it's over! So back to time wasting shall I go?

I probably will in reality, but hopefully to a lesser extent. Here's a few thoughts on what I have learnt from the experience:

Blogs - most blogs I read (mainly of friends) don't need to be checked daily for an update (as I had been in the habit of doing). Our Lenten fast was put on hold for a Sabbath Saturday sundown to Sunday sundown, which gave me an ample window to check people's blogs once a week. The only blog that I at times struggled to keep up with was J-NYC [;-)] as J sometimes posts very frequently. The only reason to check most blogs more than once a week is to follow the conversation of comments on a post, but this is more often than not worth following.

News - I have to confess I am a little ignorant of all the details surrounding Anna Nicole's death and the many saga's that followed during the Lent period. But have I really missed anything? There of course are some worthy news stories and articles that I have missed, but that's ok too. I think the smh.com.au needs to be a once or twice a day visit for me, rather than an every 5 minute refresh, like it sometimes was in my days doing a desk job.

Online accounts - I am far better than I used to be (maybe I am/was a control freak? Don't comment on that ... otherwise I might delete your comments!), but during the lent season, I have tried to avoid checking online banking and other accounts except when necessary. This is a habit worth keeping!

Lent of course, isn't meant to be about using my time better, it's about taking on a discipline that helps you be more in-tune with Christ as he walks towards his crucifixion cross. In some small way, we pick up and carry our crosses and forgo our chocolate, alcohol, internet use or whatever and go with him, as he carries his cross and gives it all up for us. My chosen discipline did help with this, but to be honest, only in a limited way. At first, I did turn to prayer instead of the computer to make the most of those few otherwise idle minutes, but this faded into obeying a self-imposed rule on my life (as many of our honourable and godly pursuits can do). You'd have to ask my wife to be sure, but I think I was more attentive to helping around the house and in the kitchen, rather than defaulting to the computer. And again, check with Jess, but we probably spent more time simply being with each other, without the iMac distraction – all good things!

This lent thing is a work-in-progress with me as I’m new to it, so I will try something again next year. To leave you with something to ponder, in one of my classes we have been looking at the effects of technology on our spiritual lives, both good and bad for sure. Technologies like computers, the internet, mobile phones and even watches can be a stronger force in our lives than we think as they can become invisible to us, and part of our natural environment. If you are someone who can never miss a call, cant go an hour without checking email, or constantly needs to know the time – can I encourage you to think about taking a technology Sabbath (which may turn into a Lenten sacrifice next Easter). Do we really need our mobiles on a Sunday?

1 comment:

Justin said...

Good work...

I gave up pride for lent...


Hey -- I only post twice a week. Unless its a sermon cut'n'paste!