Out to Lent

Dear Superfriends and Blogofans:

The past twelve months have been amazing for me on this blog.  I’ve had two separate posts go semi-viral and catch the attention of some of the biggest movers and shakers in my denomination.  Many of you have emailed me (and a few have even called) with encouraging words about what this blog means to you.  Your words have kept me writing when I otherwise wanted to quit.  Thank you.

I’ve come to see what I do here as part of my larger ministry in the world, no less significant than what I do from the pulpit on Sunday or in my classroom during the week.  I have been especially touched by the messages left by those who self-identify as exiled or de-churched Christians.  I hope that my presence in your life via this blog is part of your healing from the wounds of the past.

As social media occupy an increasingly central place in my life, I think it is imperative that I learn how to integrate them into my life in a harmonious and holistic way.  Many others have voiced concerns about the effect that these media are having on our ability to communicate with one another.  Our technology has outpaced our ethics.  We need to occasionally step back and take stock of where it is that technology has brought us, how it is that we got here, and what it is that we want to do next.

I have noticed this technological imbalance in my own life.  Whether I am at work or play, I spend most of my time in front of TV and computer screens.  Things that need doing sometimes don’t get done because there’s just “one more thing” I want to watch or do online.

The liturgical season of Lent is, for me, a time for self-reflection and restoring the balance of life.  During these next 40 days, I’ve decided to unplug from electronic entertainment and social media.  I’ll be updating my blog with my weekly sermons and checking Facebook on Sundays (which don’t count as part of Lent).  I’m also allowing myself to watch one half-hour TV show on Sundays because I don’t want to fall too far behind on the final season of The Office.

Other than that, you can find me reading a book, tuning my guitar, playing with my kids, and (believe it or not) cleaning my house.  I hope to use this time to reflect on my relationship with technology and social media.  I hope to return with a greater sense of clarity about what this technology is for and how it is that I wish to conduct myself in its virtual environment.

I’m not going totally off-grid, though: I’ll be checking email for professional purposes and answering the phone.  If you need to talk to me for personal reasons, feel free to give me a call!  I get the sense that I’ll be craving conversation.

I’ll see you again at Easter when this blog kicks back into action!  Until then, make sure to check in weekly to read the sermons!

As always:

Be blessed and be a blessing.

Barrett

3 thoughts on “Out to Lent

  1. Right there with you, brother. My brain is far too pixelized to be of much use to those whose needs are outside this tiny screen. I’m de-Facebook-Twittering myself to engage in intercession. Lenten peace…R

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