The 40 Days Thing

2018-agenda-black-273011So somewhere along the line, I missed the biblical heads up about forty days.

I mean, I knew about Jesus going out into the desert for forty days to fast and I knew that Lent lasted forty days. But I did not get the memo about the floods for Noah and company lasting 40 days and 40 nights or that Moses was up on that mountain for 40 days and 40 nights, waiting for the commandments. That whole 40 days thing just registered with me recently.

Though honestly, I’m sure the nuns must’ve mentioned it a couple of hundred times during my school years; I’m just not good at remembering details like numbers. Especially when there’s other more interesting things to think about…like old Noah and how he and the gang  survived for 40 days, floating around out there.

I’ll bet I was busy worrying about Rabbits Three, Four, Five, and Six, who just about the time they were thanking their lucky stars that they were snatched up and brought on board the ark, Noah’s wife threw ’em in a pot!

Anyway, the point is, 40 days comes up a number of times (no pun intended) in the Bible and possibly there are other references in other religions. And the more I thought about 40 days, the more I thought that six weeks must make a difference. Maybe that’s the time it takes to break a bad habit or form a new, healthy habit. Perhaps 40 days is the exact time we need to reflect in order to transform our lives.

Or maybe just five minutes is enough to figure it out. Because as I began to think about what needed to change in my life this Lent, I knew it had to start with how I use my time. And so I decided on the Five Minute Facebook Fast (for Forty Days).

There are lots of good things for me on Facebook…I love hearing about friends’ great news and I am a sucker for a punny cartoon. I like the company–most of the time–and some mighty prayers get answered, thanks to Facebook requests.

But on the other side of Facebook is the not-so-good, falling into those rabbit holes of toxic discussions or articles or conversations. Even when I don’t engage–and I rarely do–I still will look up from my laptop and blink: Is it really possible that I’ve spent an hour and twenty minutes on something that’s only served to upset me?

It’s not that I have such a busy life, but at the end of the day–and I mean literally at the end of the day–I like to feel that I’ve used the time the Lord gave me in a positive way. So I’ve been keeping to five minutes on Facebook and I’m not going to lie. Every time I sit down to work on my laptop,  I have to stay my hand on that mouse. My fingers just automatically go to click on Facebook. But on the plus side, I’ve become super intentional about what I read there, zipping along at a meaningful clip. And it feels as if I’ve added a ton of time to my day. A ton of time where I’m accomplishing good things.

So that’s my revelation on the whole 40 days thing. And what do you think? What might you accomplish in 40 days? Tell me all about it, ’cause honestly, I have plenty of time to listen. (At least until Lent is over when we’ll find out if six weeks really can break a bad habit.)

6 thoughts on “The 40 Days Thing

  1. Oh, those poor rabbits… 🙂 But I hear you on the facebook fast. That’s an excellent idea. Too bad it’s such a challenge and feels like it takes such an effort to keep that time limit. I agree though that there are some pretty divisive threads on facebook right now. Sometimes I just sigh and remind myself how much I like that person and that we have more in common than not. Lent seems like a great time to draw our focus off those sometimes petty things and redirect to the cross. Wishing you a blessed lenten season and looking forward to hearing how your facebook fast has change your work habits!

  2. Excellent, Cathy! I would stop looking at FB if my grandkids’ cute faces and funny remarks didn’t pop up a whole lot. 40 days does show up in the Bible quite a bit. I figure if you can do something good (or avoid doing not so good stuff) for 40 days, you’ve made great progress and it may change your life for the better. The power of positive thinking😊 Keep up the good work!

  3. My FB time is so sporadic. I can go days without getting on FB, but then I’ll jump on and be caught in the snare of scrolling and sharing. I like the idea of a daily five minute time limit. If I do that, I’ll be more present on the outlet without having it be a time suck. I’ll let you know how it goes.

    • Oops, somehow I entered and I wasn’t done… Anyway, hope it goes well. When I have a lot to do, I stay off FB and leave it as a reward at the end 🙂

  4. You have stumbled on a brilliant idea, Miss Cathy. Facebook has been troubling me for some time so I’ve been having a self-imposed fast. It also has given me a hard time posting, so I’m not certain this comment will even post. Keep up the good work, and happy Lent to you! I gave up candy and soda for my corporal fast and complaining and gossiping for my spiritual fast, and you can guess which has been harder to keep–but I’m not complaining. 😉

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