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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Silence for 47 Days

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday which means, yes, another Lenten season is upon us. I am trying something new. I have turned off my cell phone and will leave it off until Easter Monday. Yes, I realize you may have no idea if that is a "big" deal or not, but yeah, it kind of is, to me. I have been told I am on my cell phone "too much" and so, I think, turning it off for Lent is a good thing. In fact, I know it's a good thing because, in comparison, I know that I will not look at it during the workday. I also know that I will not have the temptation to look at it for updates about sports, entertainment, or political news when I could be spending that time with my undivided attention focused on my family.

I am not a holier than thou kind of guy, but I did have a revelation last night. After Karen, Alex, and I attended 6 PM Mass for Ash Wednesday (I played drums), we went to Culver's for supper. When I went to get ketchup, after giving Alex his drink cup, I noticed the people in the booths as I walked by. Families, couples - it didn't matter who it was - all had their cell phones out. In one booth, Person A was showing Person B something on Person A's cell phone; in another, a dad and two teenagers all had their cell phones out. Again, I'm not holier than thou, preaching "all cell phones are inherently evil" and "what has our society become when we'd rather look at a cell phone than each other" to anyone reading this.

But it did make me pause.

And think.

Not using my cell phone for 47 days (Wednesday, March 1, through Monday, April 16) is something I can do. In the BIG picture, Jesus was tempted by the devil for 40 days. He was told, every day, by Satan, that he could 'get out' of his torture by committing a sin and putting another God before 'the REAL God' but Jesus didn't. I'm certainly not Jesus - not in any shape or form, but the suffering Jesus went through for me and the fact that he died to take away my sins puts a silent cell phone into perspective.

At least for me.

I liked today's Thought for the Day (source:

When someone disbelieves us, we usually argue back and try to prove our point. Yet we find that the more we talk, the less people listen. Unable to convince them, we end up frustrated.
Instead, when someone challenges my words, I should think about whether they might be right. Rather than stubbornly clinging to my point of view, I could embrace this as an opportunity to learn. Even if I am correct in my thinking, if I become able to understand someone else’s point of view without getting angry or refusing to listen, I become tolerant.

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