What are you giving up for Lent?
Niall O’Mara talks about his personal experience with Lent and goes over some possible ways to productively engage with the period.
From 22nd February many of us may consider giving something up for Lent. During this period some will give up certain pleasures such as chocolates or sweets, take-aways, or drinking. For many it could be taking up something, for example an activity or hobby.
Some may give up something more abstract, say a feeling or a way of thinking you want to change (much easier said than done but for many now is the time to try it). However, 40 days can feel like a very, very long time when taking on any new task. Growing up I have felt quite a lot of pressure trying to stick to my Lenten promises – I have often failed. After all, an eight-year-old giving up mars-bars was always too much of an ask. So, this year I embark on a new task.
I am deleting Tik-Tok.
This week I was confronted by my screen time and very quickly realised I was spending a serious amount of time on my phone, and most of that was dominated by Tik-Tok. I often found myself falling into these loopholes where I look up from my phone and often an hour or two have passed in what feels like only a couple of minutes. Therefore, I am cutting it out completely for the next 40 days. As of the 22nd I will not have the app on my phone.
Growing up I have felt quite a lot of pressure trying to stick to my Lenten promises
A part of me is excited for this challenge as it should free up more time in my day, but another part of me fears I’ll fall behind. Often friends will send Tik-Tok’s or may discuss new trends. But I do this in the hope of returning to the app after Lent and to, hopefully, have a much lower screen time. Many may believe this to be an easy task but many of us find ourselves endlessly scrolling through the infinite amount of content without knowing.
Will I stick to this? I guess I’ll find out! But my message for anyone this year is: don’t be too hard on yourself. Giving or taking things up is never easy. Remember, even Jesus got tempted…