Lent is about to start again and I’ve got two ideas for Lenten practices. Help me decide.
Buy nothing graphic1.  Don’t buy anything during Lent.
I wonder if this discipline would bring me into greater solidarity with those who may not have money for the basics much less any extras. Of course there would need to be exceptions like:

  • Groceries don’t count as long as the food is not extravagant or treats
  • Eating out would be a no-no unless I am out of town and don’t have a choice. (The school fish fry would be an exception since it’s a fund-raiser.)
  • Gas for the car wouldn’t count but I would try to walk or bike anyplace under a mile.
  • Our house is paid for but I would have to pay utilities.

I’m sure emergencies will come up, but I’ll have to decide that on a case by case basis. Each time I make an exception I will ponder the reality that many people don’t have the luxury of a back-up fund for emergencies. I also will need Jim’s cooperation lest he just buy things for me. Of course how do I take a picture of things that I don’t buy?

Days 329 Extra - recycling paper 0022.  Prune the information in my home.
Of course knowledge is good and I don’t want to get rid of important information but I have:

  • 11 file cabinet drawers of work related papers dating back at least 30 years.
  • 12 file cabinet drawers of household and family files.
  • Mega file folders on my desk and more in a temporary holding pattern on our Ping-Pong table
  • 4 crates of old photo albums waiting for one of our kids to offer to digitalize all of them
  • Computer files that could use pruning

Basically, I have Too Much Information – much of it obsolete. I don’t relish the task of going through all of it. This will probably be more time consuming and harder than not spending money. But it will make my life feel less crowded if I don’t have to rummage through crammed files to find stuff.
The Process: If I do this, I can already see that I will need to put boundaries around the time I spend sorting paper and files lest I not get my day job done. I’m thinking I will limit myself to no more than:

  • 1 file cabinet drawer a day
  • 1 hour a day

I’m not sure how this will be a spiritual endeavor except maybe to put into perspective how much stuff I thought was important to save and how fleeting and transitory most information is. I’ll be blogging more frequently during the next six weeks as I execute these plans.

If you had the choice which Lenten sacrifice would you choose and why? I wonder if I should do both?