Face Off: Better to sacrifice something during Lent

Liam Eifert, Reporter

We’re always adding something new these days to help us try to put out our fires of self-disgust. We run to new apps, new classes and new lifestyles so we can justify ourselves, so we can change who we are. The whole reason we even make empty New Year’s resolutions year after year is to convince ourselves that we have control over our lives.

A Lenten promise isn’t just a more impactful New Year’s resolution. A Lenten promise isn’t even truly about ourselves. Lent is much more than our daily battle for self acceptance. Lent, instead, is a time to simplify our lives, not complicate them with an even tighter net of obligations. We should strive to give something up for Lent because we should strive to simplify our lives, and a new routine trying to perfect our lives only distracts from the true purpose of Lent.

The unbounded complexities of a modern life glare off our smartphone screens. They hold pages on pages of apps used for everything from gaming to journaling. Smartphones often hold a graveyard of apps deserted long ago, a useless cluttering of our digital space. The apps we still open provide us with so many opportunities that the very concept of boredom has changed. We always have something to occupy ourselves with.

Our time to be alone with ourselves and get to know our thoughts has been replaced with aimless scrolling. Our phones busy us without actually giving us anything to do.

This busy-ness distracts from the kind of self-reflection that Lent asks for. Giving something up for Lent lets us uncover some lost time and use it to slow down and think. Those who are Catholic among us are called to use that time to reflect on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Lent is not about focusing on ourselves. It’s about refocusing our lives as much as possible on God.

Even for those who are not Catholic, there’s something to be said for the value of a little boredom. Boredom is the time to slow down, stop worrying, stop running, stop planning and just be.