Thursday, April 08, 2010

Three Things I Learned During Lent

Per Joe's request (though I could have just done it as a comment, I suppose), here's what I learned over Lent. I gave up nighttime internet, except sometimes for stuff connected to lesson-planning, etc. - the point was to keep myself from being distracted from schoolwork (since right now I have a responsibility to be a good teacher to my students, and that takes work) and especially to work on getting more sleep (since deprivation thereof hinders both the time I have in the morning for Bible reading and prayer, since I don't want to get out of bed, and the amount of focus I can put into doing the work I'm supposed to be doing, not to mention the amount of patience I have with myself and others):

1. The nighttime internet fast helped me to lessen the "addiction" level, of course. I remember from trying this with other technological things in the past that even if you go back to it when Easter comes, you go back to it changed. I don't have quite the same sense of urgency that I did about, say, answering e-mails that come to me later at night or following blogs until all hours of the morning. I still like such things, and already doing so is back to being a bit of a temptation when I'm supposed to be doing other things - but so far I think it's less of one. I got through the forty days, and it was often a pain, but sometimes it was also a relief.

2. I relearned that changed behavior is not a changed heart. For all I was better about internet (though I did cheat once or twice), I didn't do any better at focusing on my schoolwork or sleep. I still avoided them, but this time it was more intentional, and just in different ways. So much for improving my relationship with God: I still lost sleep, and I still often flat-out refused to do the stuff I was supposed to do.

3. In fact, I ended up realizing that this is often a pretty good description of my relationship with God:

So basically, long story short, Lent was hard. And I'm not trying to be emo and self-hating with this stuff - it's just that I've really been challenged about where my heart lies - in terms of my career, my sources of emotional and intellectual security, and my ways of judging self-worth especially.

Hopefully some of it's sunk in enough that I won't forget it all and just have to do it all again next year.

No comments: