Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Silence and Lent
Me: You know what? I'm going to give up the internet after 8 p.m.; 9 p.m. today because I have a couple of things to finish.
Mom: Are you sure you can go without it?
Me: Yes. I need to for my health.
You know you really do need to disconnect when your mother doubts your success. lol. Add this to things I'm giving up this Lent.
This is my second Lenten post because I just scraped the surface with the previous post. I'm only giving up three things: time on social media, unnecessary spending, and time away from being "plugged in." I am, however, adding things on.
I guess the biggest thing I'm "adding on" classifies as both adding on and giving up and it's one of the biggest things I struggle with: silence. See, I don't like silence all that much. I always have something playing, even if it's a white noise app that plays the sound of rain or a crackling fire while I try to fall asleep. When my father passed away? I turned on music when I got home because music is my safety blanket. Home alone? Music, the white noise app, or the TV is on. Driving? Music is on.
The only time I like silence is when I'm trying to pray because I like to concentrate. Not always; sometimes I need Gregorian Chant or classical music playing if I feel it's too quiet. I'd say about 98% of the time I need it to be completely quiet. My spiritual director always asks me if I've had some time in silence to pray during the month and my answer is always the same: I have prayed... but I've not done any time just sitting in silence.
This Lent I've decided to take less time plugged in and more time in silence, especially whilst praying. This means unplugging and turning off the computer at 8 p.m. and turning the "do not disturb" function on my iPod at 8:30-9 p.m. so I won't get notifications. This means draining my iPod touch battery and charging it in another part of the apartment so I won't be tempted to check it. It means turning off the T.V. by 9 pm (10 pm on Tuesdays because mom and I love watching 19 Kids and Counting). My phone's ringer will stay off.
What am I going to do with my free time? I'm going to pray... read... write (but no novels; personal letters)... sit in silence and see if I can't get a good conversation with God going. I've been praying about several things for many years but I think that my life has always been so noisy that I might've missed the message a long time ago... and am still missing it. We shall see.
As I said, silence and I are not friends so this will be a good test for me. However, I'm not doing it just for myself and to test my willpower; this is something my spiritual director has been trying to get me to do for months and Lent is the perfect time to try. I may fail... but that doesn't mean that I will give up at the first slip up. Practice makes perfect, right?
Alright, well, I took 4 hours to write this blog post because mom and I got sidetracked with something that was way overdue for a couple of hours. Yes, this means that I already failed at unplugged at 8 p.m. (it's 11:11 p.m. right now). I'm still going to use the next hour to pray and enjoy some silence. An hour today is better than nothing.
I hope you all have a successful Lent... and please remember that if you slip up on one of your Lenten goals, you can always start again. This is the perfect time to remember that we all mess up but that we can always try to do the right thing again. :)
That's it for now.
As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D