Today is February 10, 2015, also known as Ash Wednesday. For those of you who do not know what this is; it is the beginning of Lent. Over last five years or so, I have been interested in participating in Lent. My attempts have been weak at best. The purpose of Lent is to get closer to God by preparing for Easter Sunday. This is typically done by choosing something to abstain from for 40 days. I will once again for the fifth year in a row attempt to go through Lent. And so I wanted to outline how this will look like for me. (Here is an article about Lent which helped a couple of years ago: Lent)
The first thing to answer is why would I chose to do this. The simple answer is it is a way to get closer to Jesus. For centuries, Christians have used this as way to get rid of the distractions and get closer to Jesus. This is the goal I have in mind. I want to get rid of the biggest distraction I have: Technology. I will explain in a bit in what all I will be doing. I also have another goal in mind and that is to find out what areas of my life needs to pruned away. I did this a couple years ago and stopped using twitter because of it so I am excited to see what will happen this time. The following verses sum up my purpose:
Philippians 3:7-9 “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith”
Over the last few months, the Holy Spirit has shown how dependent on Technology I have become on, when I am supposed to be dependent on Him. So for the next forty days I am giving Him control of Technology. Now, I am only going to use it if it keeps me connected with Him or other people. But here is what I am doing, I am disabling all of the following Apps and websites: Social Media, Sports, Shopping, and news related apps. The only apps that are currently left on my phone are Bible Apps, Church Apps, and Apps which cause communication between people. I have also disabled all notifications on my phone except calendar, phone calls, and texts. I will only be checking email once a day. I am also not going to be suggesting to my Wife that we watch TV or movies together. This will force me to think of other things to pursue her with. I am praying through all of this to bring my closer to God.
There is one thing I have learned with doing Lent over the last couple of years and that is you have to add something you are taking away. Here is what I am going to do instead. I am going to read the following books Forgotten God by Francis Chan, Tranny of the Urgent by Charles Hummel, Family Worship by Donald Whitley, The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, For Men Only by Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn, and People Can Change by Timothy Lane and Paul David Tripp. All of these I have already begun and some I will finish very soon. Most of these I believe will bring me closer to the Lord.
The next thing I am going to do is pray with my wife everyday. This is a habit I am looking to start everyday but I am committing forty days to do this. And I am thankful I have a wife that will not let me forget this commitment.
The next thing is I am trying the bullet journal method. This a concise method of journaling. I am not going to attempt to explain it so here is the website for more info: http://bulletjournal.com/
The last thing I will do is I will write at least one blog a week. This will be to update on what has been going on since I begin this and what the process looks like. This may include reviews of the above books and they have impacted my life. It will not be on the same day but I will pray about which day to begin it on.
Ultimately, I am praying this will bring me closer to Jesus. I am also hoping this will bring some type of encouragement to anyone reading this. There really is nothing special about me or these words. The only person that matters is Jesus and so I pray if you are reading this its what you are reading. I am excited about this journey and look forward where the Holy Spirit will lead.