For lent in the past, I have given up reading, television, internet and other things. I have done this in addition to any other fasting or self-denial, in order to give myself time to pray and study the word. It’s hard to say “I don’t have time to pray” when you pull two hours of TV out of your day.
And I struggle with it. After a few days, I lie down, and reach for a good book, only to remember I am only supposed to be reading The Good Book. I say “40 days is a long time, I am not sure I can do this.” I start feeling tired from getting up early to pray.
But that’s normal, right?
I don’t know. If you recall I am also an amateur writer; and every November I take part in something called NaNoWriMo. This means that during the 30 days of November I try to write a 50,000 word novel.
Last year I cruised through it. I wrote late at night, early in the morning. I don’t think I read a single book the whole month, and maybe watched 5 hours of TV. (usually with my note book next to me to make notes) I spent a couple of hours a day writing, and if I woke up in the middle of the night unable to sleep, I would do a few pages before going back to sleep.
And I did this for 30 straight days without batting an eyelid. I mean it wasn’t easy, but I was determined!!!
So today is day 30 of lent, and I don’t think I can say I have given the same level of dedication to these past 30 days as I did to NaNoWriMo.
But it just goes to show how easy it can be, if you really want it.
So why do I find it easier to be a writer than a Christian?
Why can’t I apply that same level of dedication and sacrifice to my Lenten discipline?