Wednesday, February 22, 2012

40 days/40 nights

Since we aren’t Catholic, lent has never been a religious custom of ours. Growing up in heavily Catholic south Louisiana, it was always a secret pleasure of mine that, unlike my friends, I wasn’t required to give up any of my favorite things for the 40 days of lent and I could eat quarter pounders at McDonald’s on Fridays while they were stuck with filet-o-fish.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to appreciate the sentiment behind lent sacrifices. What I think will help me to focus and seek Jesus is not to give up chocolate or French fries, but rather to give up something so terrifyingly necessary in my life that I’m a bit shaky in my commitment. What I’m struggling with most right now is being able to discern God’s message over all the other secular wisdom surrounding me. That’s why, after much (much much) consideration, I’ve decided that for the next 40 days I’m going to give up television. You heard me. Television.

It’s become routine in our house that I get home, walk the dogs, cook dinner and then immediately sit down in front of the TV for 2-3 hours. Then I read until I’m too tired to hold my eyes open, at which point I turn on Gilmore Girls which lulls me into sleep like a sweet lullaby. So after working all day, I come home and am bombarded with distraction after distraction. It’s robbing me of intimacy both with my husband and with the Holy Spirit.

When I first approached Jonathan about the TV idea, he was firmly against it. I believe he even said it was impossible. After a lot of discussion, we came up with a compromise. We may not quit watching TV cold turkey but we are committed to limiting our viewing to one show per night only after we’ve had dinner and after we’ve done our couple’s bible study. This will allow us to spend some quality time with each other and with the Lord before we turn our minds off for the day. The bible study we’ll be doing first is Gary Chapman’s The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted. I’ll also be starting Beth Moore’s Believing God series with my sister and Mom. In addition to the TV cutbacks, Jonathan has also committed to not working out for the next 40 days. Now that’s a sacrifice!

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