Over the past weeks, I have seen my dependence on Facebook grow. When I wake up, I look at it. When I am waiting for the bus, I look at it. When I have a little window of time, I feel like looking at it again. That is when I realise that I have a growing addiction to the stream of updates, news, pictures and notifications.
Yesterday, a dear friend reminded me that today is Ash Wednesday, which would mark the start of 40 days of reflection and preparation before Easter. I have never done anything special for Lent before. As I was reading my bible this morning, the topic was “The importance of your heart”.
Matthew 22:36-40: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment’. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
I reflected on these verses and decided that instead of filling my mind with messages from the world, I shall close that down and keep my mind focused on listening to God and to see the world through His eyes for the next 40 days.
Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the wilderness in preparation for his ministry. While giving up Facebook is nothing at all to be compared with His sacrifice on the Cross in order to reconcile us with God, it will be my little act of surrender and self-denial in this season. The time and attention that would be freed up will be used for prayer, quiet time, being present, serving needs of others and to walk closer with God.
At the exact moment when I decided that I would be giving up Facebook for Lent, I was actually on my bicycle for a morning ride. I looked up at the traffic junction and the sky was streaming down rays and rays of light, piercing through the clouds. It was so, so beautiful. I see rows of commuters before me, getting off the buses to head down to the MRT station. Not a single person looked up to see the sky that was right above them. They missed out big time this very morning. I am determined to stay present in my life for moments like this which can only be enjoyed at that very moment.
There is something else coincidental and significant about the next 40 days. I have not realised this until I was preparing for my travel insurance and had to count the number of days. I will be embarking on a journey to Japan. Part of the time will be spent snowboarding with Kenneth, with the rest to be spent in learning pottery at an old small pottery town, Tajimi. I will be alone and I am so excited and a little nervous at the same time!
My hope is also to engage the locals to get to know them and to listen to their stories. With my limited Japanese and perhaps their limited English; to be able to connect as fellow human beings and to share in happy moments. I would be compiling a photo journal of this journey on this blog, and I hope it would be one which would go deep into the essence of life.
I would be continuing with my #100happydays, as it places me in an attitude of daily gratitude.
If you are embarking on a spiritual journey of your own, I would love to hear your story too 🙂