The first article was just a short snippet that said:
"We all know about Mardi Gras, and we're vaguely aware that we're supposed to 'give something up' for 40 days starting the day after. But what? Homework? Cigarettes? Carbohydrates? Maybe not the best choices. Lent really isn't a time to shrink responsibility you don't like or break a habit or addiction. Instead, go without something that hinders your relationship with God and others, or fast from a costly luxury. Then use that newfound free time or money to deepen those relationships..."
Then it listed a few examples but that was it, that was the entire "article," but it got me thinking...
Then I read another article, a few pages later Learning from Liturgy, (please read this article*, it's phenomenal) it really opened my eyes to what we often miss out on in our super-fast-paced lives and our neo-contemporary evangelical protestant churches. It reminded me of the importance of having a time specifically to remember the the life and death of Christ. To take time, in a very tangible and formal and somber way, to consider the Forty Days or that Last Week. Who can even take it in. To be beside myself at what the Lord has done for us. To mourn His death and celebrate His resurrection.
So... after some thought, even though I was a week late, I decided to give up television during the week for lent. Which is HUGE for me. I was totally in denial about the amount of TV I watch on a daily basis. No single thing in my life was taking so much out and putting so little back in. My relationships with God, wife and friends were all taking big hits. (Sitting there watching TV with your wife DOES NOT count as quality time together, even is she likes watching TV.) I guess I would just like to encourage you to consider lent. Consider what in your life hinders your relationships the most and give it up, it's not worth it.
*Just click on the page to the left of the pig, it'll zoom in and it'll be easy to read!