I am leaving twitter for forty days and forty nights; I am also giving up chocolate for the same period (the later will be far hard then the first). Great you may say; forty days without your holier then though preaching, misspelt and often insane tweets and you may loose some weight in the barging. Why should I care what you do?
I suspect none of you will care, less read the bible passage about Jesus and thus Christianities first lent “Mark 1: 12-15”, for those interested and I do not intend to expound of the symbolism or temptations Jesus faced. No this piece is not for the faithful but the; well lets call them the rest.
We live in a world where consuming is seen as a good, often even selfishness is seen as a good (“because you worth it”) and where the market actively sells temptation. There are too few voices raised against this obsession with self indulgence and almost none that proclaim the virtues of self restraint and of less but there is one: the voice of lent.
As a Methodist I do not “have” nor am I encouraged into giving anything up for lent and yet I do. I do it to one remind myself of sin but also as an act that reminds me that a balanced life is a life of restraint and of forging today’s pleasures for tomorrows lesser but deeper pleasure. I also do this because I want to give something up, I want to acknowledged that my life is not perfect and that it is too full and often too busy and that it would not kill me to drop a little of it.
In the time freed up by forsaking my beloved followers on twitter I intend to read more books on accesses in order to become better at my job but to also read more of the bible, a sort of secular & religious trade. I of course could do this any time but I find lent focuses the mind and enables and empowers the reforming and reducing if the indulgencies which have come to dominate our lives.
I will not come back to twitter a better man, beyond better skilled in accesses and better schooled in the bible but I will come back having placed it back into its proper, non essential perspective. I of course intend to keep on with both the fomentation studies after lent – reducing my time on twitter, having, hopefully, learned that my life is none the poorer with less tweeting and a lot more reading.
So I encourage you to follow suit, use lent as a time to clean out lives cupboards and reassesses the importance of those activities which dominate our modern life’s. Use lent as a spring board to a smaller but better life. A life filled not with things and activities but purpose and utility. So this lent give something you want up and who knows what may take it place.
So I will leave you now for my forty days in the desert and only my giant ego to tempt me back into the fold. So I will say goodbye and God bless.