Thursday, March 02, 2006


Last night was Ash Wednesday and amid all the craziness of switching to MediaShout, wondering if the sanctuary will be ready for Sunday (even though I'm going to be in Colorado), and hoping that everything works out the way it's supposed to, I was able to take some time at the Vespers service for some self-contemplation.

One of the disciplines of Lent is the idea of giving something up. It's not necessarily a vice, although vices are good to give up anytime. It is generally something that gives pleasure, something that you enjoy. It can also be something that distracts from focus on God. I was thinking about what to give up for Lent. I like meat too much to give that up. I don't eat ice cream any more, so that's out. Lent falls conveniently between sweeps months, so I could give up TV, but let's not get crazy. I mean, the season finale of Battlestar Galactica is coming up.... (yes, I fully realize the irony there)

Then I thought about one of my favorite activities, blogging. I realized it was perfect for this time, because somehow, against my best intentions, blogging has become one of those distractions for me. I love the writing and I love the thinking that goes into the writing, but sometimes it's easier to focus on those things than the object of those things, God. Much in the same way that reading theological books can have the intention of bringing me closer to God, but really only give me more knowledge about God.

I've also become slightly addicted to Statcounter. It's a program on the blog that tells me where people who visit me are from, how long they stay, how they got to my blog, and how many people visit me a day. I check it multiple times a day. Mainly because I'm curious, but so subtly, self worth can be tied to it, almost like comments. If I don't get a certain amount of visits or unique visitors or new visitors, I get a little disappointed.

So, for Lent, I'm giving up blogging. Now, I'll keep doing the Post Restorationist Radio podcasts and I'll keep checking other people's blogs and commenting where I feel like it. I hope you can find something in your life that you can give up to become closer to God. And I would highly, highly recommend taking 10 minutes out of your day each day to visit Sacred Space. It's really a great exercise for centering on God in the morning.

May God bless you during this season of Lent and may He guide you in a time of contemplation in preparation for the celebration of Easter.


DJG said...

Oooh, I thought about it, but couldn't do it. I am still thinking about giving up Statcounter.

I gave up drive-up windows (all kinds, banks, fast food, drug store). It is a convenience that I love. So having to take the time to get out and actually interact with people will help me to remember the reason I am giving it up......yesterday I found that it also it a patience developer...

TCS said...

See you the other side of Easter.

Malia said...

You're a better man than I -- hush! I considered giving up blogging too, I probably won't, I also considered sweets, but....

It'll take me 40 days just to figure out what to give up!

Tiffany said...

In a moment of inspiration (or stupidity, I can't decide which) I decided to give up novels for a month. Not for any reason other than that reading-for-escapism is probably my absolute favorite thing in the world. (I typically go through at least 2-3 books a week, depending on how long they are.)

So if I'm still sane in a month, (and hopefully wiser and more insightful from all of the challenging non-fiction I'll be absorbing) (and possibly more prolific from all the time I'll have to update my blog), I'll enjoy swapping stories of our sacrifices!

elizabeth said...

Phil, I had no clue you guys were expecting another baby! Congratulations! Where have I been?!

You've got me intrigued about this statcounter thing......I may need to try it.

djg - Giving up drive-up, good idea. I never thought about drive up windows affecting my patience level, but sooo true!

Purgatory Penman said...

Are we serious here? Are we permitted to pick and choose enjoyable things that are convenient for us to give up? I always encounter fascinating ideas on your blog. Give me feedback at:

jazztheo said...

What brought you to Colorado? Where did you stay?

Dana said...

Phil, Phil,

You're a funny guy, thanks for the comment:).

PS: Even though you aren't checking it, you can rest tonight knowing that somewhere out in the vast space called the internet statcounter has you having at least one visit from up north.

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