Consider this, from Henri Nouwen:
“Over the last few decades we have been inundated by a torrent of words. Wherever we go we are surrounded by words: words softly whispered, loudly proclaimed, or angrily screamed; words spoken, recited, or sung; words on records, in books, on walls, or in the sky; words in many sounds, many colors, or many forms; words to be heard, read, seen, or glanced at; words which flicker off and on, move slowly, dance, jump, or wiggle. Words, words, words! They form the floor, the walls, and the ceiling of our existence.”
If the statement about records wasn’t there, this observation would be apt for today. But it was written in 1981! Of course, the problem has only intensified since then. What can be done?
For many Christians around the world, Lent is an important season of the spiritual life. They give something up, or take on some new discipline during this season. There is a trend, which overall is a good one, of using Lent not just to “give something up,” but to do something positive or proactive. Here I want to discuss why giving something up for Lent is still appropriate, important, and potentially effective for one’s moral and spiritual growth.