When I was young, my family attended a Catholic church, so celebrating Ash Wednesday and Lent was a given, but it wasn’t a big deal.
I remember my grandpa telling me every year that he was giving up smoking for Lent. I’d reply, “But grandpa, you don’t smoke,” and he’d respond with a wink.
Apparently, Lent wasn’t important. At least that was the perception I had. So as soon as I stopped attending a Catholic church, I threw the whole Lent thing out the window. Yet over a decade later, I find myself returning to traditions I once held.
Why I’m Celebrating Lent This Year
A friend recently explained to me the meaning behind Ash Wednesday and Lent. He wrote about it in his blog here. (You’ll definitely want to check it out!)
Lent is a time of repentance (a time to turn away from things that separate us from God.)
Lent isn’t about giving up something for the sake of challenge or obligation. It’s a time to seek God and ask Him, “What’s getting in the way of my relationship with you?
For my family, it’s Netflix… and other similar services that will remain un-named…
Over the years, Netflix and its cousins have dominated more and more of our time. We could make all kinds of excuses as to why watching hours of shows is no big deal: it’s winter, there’s nothing better to do, we’re too tired…
But the fact remains, when we sit down to “watch a show” with dinner on a Friday night and our butts are still glued to the couch at 11PM, we feel gross.
Serial shows have taken the place of spending time with God, connecting in our marriage, playing with our dog, going to bed at a decent hour, among others.
That’s why, during this time of repentance, my family is saying “bye bye” to Netflix and all things serial.
We want these forty days to change us, to draw us closer to God and each other. We’re asking God to transform us, to make us crave Him and our own lives more than the lives of fictional characters on the screen.
Will we go back to watching shows after Lent? Probably, but it will look wildly different. That’s the point of repentance.
Repentance should change us for good not just for forty days.
Take some time to ask God, “What is hindering my relationship with You? What changes can I make? What do I need to turn away from?” And then, do it!
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