Bringing In New Life

Happy Ordinary Time! Now the big question, how has this Easter changed you?

. . . . . . . . . . wait.     What?

(Before this year’s Lenten resolutions, I think that would have been my reaction as well.) I would like to share a reflection from Easter Sunday that I have been trying to live out ever since. On Easter, one of the readings included Colossians 3:1-4.

“…think of what is above, not of what is on earth….”

This really hit home for me, because I gave up social media for Lent this year. In giving it up, it helped me think more of God rather than what is on earth.

On Easter Sunday, I had the realization that the Easter season is not a celebration to indulge in the things I gave up for Lent. I didn’t want to get right back into spending large amounts of time on social media, as if Lent never even happened. I wanted to learn from the fasting experience. I want Lent to have changed me. I don’t want to have sacrificed for 40 days just to fall right back into doing the things I did before. After Jesus resurrected, He was different. He was not bound by human laws, he could walk through walls! Like Jesus, I wanted to be different after the Resurrection. But how?

I gave up social media for Lent, and it was AWESOME. I felt so free! Now that I’m back, I don’t want to be consumed by my Facebook newsfeed or Instagram, just as I was before. So coming off Lent, I set some rules for myself, which I immediately found hard to keep. Through prayer, I realized God was calling me to live out the difference that Lent made in my life, and that I could do little things that would automatically reduce my time on social media.

I uninstalled the Facebook app on my phone and only signed in on Facebook on a computer. I made it so I need to enter my username and password every time I get on, in order to discourage the “quick” boredom newsfeed checks. I now sign on with a purpose, and then sign off when I’m done, making sure I don’t spend hours consumed by a screen. As for Instagram, I made it so my phone would not tell me every time someone likes a photo or comments on a post. If I want to see these things, I have to get on and look. This takes away the temptation to click on the app a million times a day!

Yes, I’m going to miss things that are going on in people’s lives.  I may not know everything about my friend’s lives immediately as it happens to them, but I realized that if they actually want me to know a big event, then they’ll take the time to contact me and tell me. I would rather find out personally then with the masses anyway. Every other kind of news that happens to them or anyone else are not things I NEED to know.

Now, I’ve already failed at this several times. The temptation to constantly be on social media and to “just check one thing” is definitely still there. And it is the worst time-filler! I realized I had been wasting hours doing nothing but be envious of others’ lives, or being vain in my own… How is that a positive influence in my life?

As I said before, Jesus was different after the Resurrection. So how are we different after the Easter Season? How has Easter changed you? Lent helps us prepare for the new life that Christ brings, just as much as it helps us prepare ourselves to be different with the Risen Christ. So once again, how has Easter changed you? If you don’t know, maybe it’s time to pull out those old Lenten resolutions and look at the motivation behind them and the new life we want to bring in with them.

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