Reflections on Lent: Connections

One of the most dramatic changes of the past decade is undoubtedly the explosion of the “smart phone” industry. iPhone’s have become a ubiquitous aspect of American culture, and have, in my view, substantially changed human behavior. My addiction with my iPhone 5c began three years ago, when Wal-Mart ran a Christmas-time special featuring a brand new iPhone 5c for $27! Over the past few years, I have slowly became more and more connected to my iPhone, and less and less connected to actual human beings in the process.

Therefore, this Lent my wife and I have both decided to mutually refrain from “scrolling”. By “scrolling” we mean any miscellaneous browsing the internet to kill time on our cell phones. That means no more ESPN or theology blogs for me, and no Buzzfeed or Instagram for her. Furthermore, simply refraining from “scrolling” is but the first step in our Lenten journey, because instead we are replacing this worldly practice with meaningful conversation (when we are together), and contemplative prayer (when we are apart). By meaningful conversation, I mean honest dialogue about issues of substance, rather than the customary drivel that dominates our unintentional conversations. By contemplative prayer, I mean prayer infused with silence and openness, rather than a rushed set of petitions that normally dominate my prayer life. Although we are only a few short days into Lent, I have already noticed a marked difference in my quality time with Ana each morning and night, as well as an increased connectivity with God during the day. We pray that your Lenten practices are bearing fruit as well.

By Karl Wacker

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