Well, it is Lent. Both my roommates and I are doing it this year (first time for me) and one of them has been writing about it. They're pretty funny--you can read them here. All three of us have given up facebook. I gave up Sun Drop as well.
Giving up facebook has been much better this go around. Last time I missed getting on it, was counting the days I had left, and ended up giving in a little bit early. This time, I don't know. I was looking forward to having the excuse to not get on, something to keep from doing it out of habit or not being able to sit still for too long. And the funny thing is, while the notifications I'm still getting in my email make me miss the ease with which I can keep in touch with friends who aren't around here, it has otherwise felt freeing. That's the word, the exact one. It's a funny thing. I'm not bound to facebook anymore. It sounds ridiculous when I type it out, but it's exactly what it feels like. Craziest thing. And I've been reading so much in the last week. I've gone through a book and a half already.
That said, all this giving up makes me think about it outside of the application of it, makes me think about it in theory, the ideology of the whole thing. This was part of the point of the evangelism event. Ideally it would have led to in-depth conversations about the giving up of Christ by the Father. With the exception of one fascinating conversation with a grown man and his son who at least came from a very churched background, mostly people stayed on the surface of everything. It's an interesting thing I've noticed about our campus, and we'll have to be much more creative. We're laid back, for sure, but it lends itself to passivity and if there's one word to describe our campus, it's definitely passive. I think about campuses like UNC and how much more active they are. Ours is more along the thought of it could be one way or another, and eh. I don't mean to criticize. I like the relaxed feel of our campus. I think people are more content here. But I also know passivity can be dangerous. Just thoughts.
The man with the son noticed that most of the stickers on our tri-fold (the questions were what would you give up, why, and where/how would you get the strength/motivation to do so) said things like soda and junk food. I think it's really important to live healthily. However, the man said that it seemed like everything people said they wanted to give up seemed like things that were more superficial, as opposed to things like bad relationships or worrying. And then he went on to say that no one had answered their life. He wrote that on there and said he'd be willing to give it up for his family and that his motivation would be that, well, he wouldn't even have to think about it, it's just something he would do automatically because he loved his family so much. And we were all like, yes! That's exactly what we're trying to communicate and then we got into a brief discussion about what that looked like on the cross.
We called the proxe station Relinquish. The event didn't turn out the way we thought it would, and as two of us watched from a distance and prayed for the team, for the people who we would talk to, we also prayed that we wouldn't be discouraged by that. I know that God is working on this campus and I see a group of students who want to be a part of that, who want to learn to do it better and better. We know that it is in his power that people come to him and we will meet him in that.
What's left is thoughts about what giving up something truly truly hard to relinquish would be like. And I'm not talking about sacrifice for the sake of sacrifice, doing so in order to see if you can--I'll admit that mostly that's what not drinking Sun Drop's about. I'm talking about things that will bring you closer to God. I'm new at Lent and maybe this misses the whole point of it, and I certainly embrace a motivator to get me to give up crappy eating habits and way too much caffeine, but it's exciting to think about what it would look like to live all year long in the mindset that says to let go of the things that would keep you from the Lord.
So, five days in, we'll see.