Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Give it up...

...Baby give it up
na na na na na na na na
Give it up
Baby give it up
-KC & the Sunshine Band, "Give it Up"

More bad 80's music for ya. I know, I've really pulled out some awful stuff lately, but come on. That last intro from the Roots (complete with video!) was a good one, right? (Sorry, DWO - that's what Pandora is for.)

So what am I giving up? Facebook. I'm giving it up for Lent.

Though I grew up a Presbyterian, I'm officially Baptist now, and Baptists have historically been very anti-ritual and thus anti-giving-up-stuff-for-Lent. Baptists in the truest sense are very "Ain't nobody gonna tell us how to run our congregation! Ain't nobody gonna tell us what to believe or how to relate to God!" Thus it's interesting that the conservatives/fundamentalists who took leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention a generation ago have been adamant in telling southern Baptist churches what they can do: who can preach (not women) and who can belong (not gays). Can you tell I come from the more moderate Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, where affirming women's role as ministers was a founding principle? (Still not really gay-friendly, but CBF at least allows individual churches to make their own decisions on social matters of that sort.)

Anyway, back to my point. Giving up something for Lent is not really a traditionally Baptist thing to do. But I find rituals comforting. It's pretty neat to think that others have been doing the same thing, asking the same questions, feeling the same peace for thousands of years. So the ritual of giving something up for Lent speaks to me. I've tried before, and not made it very far. The candy dish loaded up with Hershey's Miniatures pretty much eliminated all chance I had that year I tried to give up chocolate.

So why Facebook? While I've got my fair share of vices, I don't think that my nightly glass of wine with dinner really strains my relationship with God. I think he's pretty cool with wine in moderation. And I don't really think that giving up chocolate would bring me any closer to the creator either. I tried it.

But I do know that - for me - facebook is an enormous time sucker. Like, "Suddenly 3 hours have passed and I'm still sitting here on the couch looking at photos of friends' dogs" time waster. (No really, I love seeing pictures of your dog. Seriously. But I probably have other things that ought to be higher priorities. Like the 18 loads of laundry that are heaped up on the pool table. The cat is currently sleeping on those piles, which means the clean clothes are covered in cat hair and thus need to be re-washed. Yes, I realize that, in laziness, I am creating more work for myself.)

And it's not like I'm going off the grid or anything. If you want to get up with me, you can still call. Email. Text. Drop a comment on the blog (shameless plug for more comments!). Google Talk. Geez - in the scheme of things, giving up one social media channel when I'm so connected in so many other ways seems pretty insignificant.

But I do hope that my lack of facebook-iness will give me a little more time to spend with God. Perhaps I should talk to God while I fold laundry. God would be cool with multitasking, right?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jen, I for one feel that the concept of "Religion" is for you to find a way to have the best relationship you can with God. If it is enhanced by adopting other rituals, practices or ideas from other areas, then thats ok. I also am undertaking Lent this year. I am giving up my debit card. Now this may seem silly, but as someone who NEVER carries cash or has a credit card, this card has become my lifeline. This little piece of plastic has also created a relationship that I feel is unhealthy. It has allowed me to be less of what I want to be- to become lazy, greedy, unaware and thankless. I readily will put that extra thing in the cart at Target without thinking of how long it took me to earn the money that pays for it. It gives me an excuse to say yes to the drive thru when I have a well stocked kitchen at home. Encourages me to spend "quality" time with my child at our favorite stores followed with lunch out instead of real time together. With the lack of this card, I will have to weigh every purchase, qualify it in terms of want,need or just because. It will also make me choose things that are less money driven and more family driven. I think that if it takes this time withouth chocolate, Facebook, tv, or debit cards to be a little more of what God would like us to be, then it doesnt matter if our shared faith embraces this as a common practice. God understands that we lose our way and will cheer our attempts to be more Christ-like. Now laundry may still be piled up on the pool table when Lent is over, but I know that the journey that you have gone through is so much more important. And in 40 days I will post on your Facebook wall and suggest that we get together where I will use my debit card. But we each will be more mindful of what we have learned, and thats what its all about.
Crystal

Emily Erin said...

Hmmm. My lighthearted comment regarding giving up uninterrupted sleep for Lent seems out of place... Perhaps it is a nudge to actually make those middle of the night feedings a time to pray and rejoice for all the good things we have...

Anne T. said...

Crystal and Emily Erin both - well said.

Anonymous said...

Jen, I saw your post on Facebook about giving up FB and decided to re-sign-off FB too! I de-activated my account from Thanksgiving until about 3 weeks ago, and it was honestly really nice. It makes you take more time to contact your friends and family to have "real" conversations, and boy was it great to have some of that time back! Of course now, I just blog-stalk you instead of FB-stalk you, so you have to post more pics on here of the boys! :-)
Jamie

Anonymous said...

If the pool table were closer to the laundry room, mine would look like yours! Instead it sits in the former-adult-game-room-now-turned-play-room and is covered with all the things I don't want Lola touching! I'm so appreciative of your honesty and glad to know I'm not the only one who's laziness can cause a laundry re-do! I would like to have that lunch - maybe next week? Surgery for Michael is supposed to be Wednesday - but he woke up warm and not feeling well so we shall see. It has after all been 2 weeks since he finished the last round of antibiotics...

Martha

Sush said...

Beautiful soul searching thoughts from all....
Loves~