I gave up coffee for Lent this year. A little context…I have 2 Keurig machines. One at home and one 2 steps from my chair beside my desk at work. On an average day I drink 5 large cups of black dark roast coffee. I prefer French roast or Italian roast. No added cream or sugar…that would be unhealthy.
I say that not to pat myself on the back or for you to think of me as some sort of sainted spiritual ascetic. It’s more of an acknowledgment of the first of the 12 steps…I admit that I am powerless over caffeine. Who knew there were actual withdrawal symptoms?!? Irritability? Insomnia? Depression? Leg pains? Check. Check. Check. Check.
I’m getting past these. A couple of Aleve and a sleep aid tablet the second night of my little adventure got me 8+ hours of sleep and I’ve been almost back to normal since. It’s more the habit I miss anyway. Well…that and the taste…and the smell…the warm cup in my hand…the steam rising from the rim on a cool morning on my porch…STEP 2! STEP2!
This Lent thing wasn’t part of my small town, conservative Southern Baptist tradition growing up. But it has become an important part of my faith. Each morning, I walk into the kitchen by the light of the coffee maker that has switched on in anticipation of my first cup of the day. For the next few weeks, rather than stick in a coffee pod, I switch off the machine, grab a glass of juice and head out to the screen porch and think about this practice.
I would love to have something profound to write here in this place. God parting the caffeine free fog with some glorious Lenten wisdom. Not yet. Still waiting. That is probably the point. Waiting. Trusting. Anticipating. The God who made all of this is meeting me here in this spot each and every morning. In silence. I’m wondering if that in itself might be point.
I’ve tried this once before. A Facebook Fast for lent. It wasn’t easy and I wrote a couple of blog posts about why. (You can read those here.) I know some folk have begun to get down on Facebook (too many “cat videos”; “who wants to hear/see pictures of someone’s dinner”; “it’s all Humblebragging; etc.
I for one am not ashamed to admit that I LOVE Facebook. Still. Whether it’s cool or not, it’s fun, mostly informative, and has reconnected me with people I knew in high school, college, past churches, past jobs/careers, long distance family. It’s been an extension of community in a very profound way for me since I first started my Facebook page back in 2007.
This practice of giving something up for lint has been mostly a fail for me for years. (If you’re reading this, I hope you’ll say a little prayer for me for strength and discipline to not merely sign off but to pick up a new awareness of God’s presence in my life. You’ll probably still see an occasional post show up on my time line (I have some things set to automatically post…like my occasional tweets and blog posts like this one.) I’ll have to log in occasionally to post something to my youth group FB pages. However, I’m going to ignore the addictive little red number that shows up in the top of the window and on my Facebook app…(note to self: you probably should delete that app for the time being.) This was very hard to do last time (I wrote about that here.)
Peace and blessings to you during this time of lent! See you Easter Sunday!
“Really?!?”, replied my wife. “I don’t believe you!” commented my daughter on my last post before signing off Facebook for Lent 2011. I have to admit, I was at best skeptical.
A little context/confession here…I’ve never completed a Lenten fast. I’ve only tried it one time before. I was a “fail” as the kids like to say. I couldn’t even tell you at this moment what I failed to give up for lent that year. More context/confession…I’m a Facebook junkie. I was a very early adopter. Facebook opened membership to anyone over the age of 13 with a valid email address in September of 2006. I was aware of Facebook on college campuses prior to that time. I opened my own Facebook account in the Summer of 2007. That puts me pretty much in the Total-Facebook-Geek category in most people’s books. I check it on my computer, on my phone, while I’m at the office, while I’m driving in my car…just about anywhere.
Part of this lent deal for our church this year was to “give up something” but also, add something. As I’m writing this, I’m aware of my failure in the add category…I was going to write more consistently…fail.
So the doubts of my wife and daughter are pretty much justified. I’m still pretty skeptical about the chances of my success with the Facebook portion of this thing. Here goes nothing…