Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, the start of the Lenten season. It’s the season for Fish Frys, for penance and repentance. A few years ago I did a little project called Forty Bags in Forty Days, but I don’t do a big “thing” every year. This year, my sacrifice is about the size of the tip of my finger.
This year I’m giving up Candy Crush.
It sounds ridiculous, but when you close your eyes and you see pieces of candy, it’s time.
When your kids ask you what level you’re on, on a daily basis, it’s time.
When you start playing the game before you’ve eaten breakfast, it’s time.
Deleting the app didn’t feel like enough though. It’s the habit of being tethered to my phone that has to stop, because it’s a huge distraction in my life. I may sound like Larry the Cucumber, but I can’t be the person God wants me to be when I’m compulsively checking for messages on my phone.
Enter the UNICEF Tap Project. I’ve put this timer on my home screen – WAIT you say! You’re supposed to be using your phone less not more! – and every time I activate it, the goal is to not touch my phone for at least 10 minutes. Huh?
It’s simple. Go to http://tap.unicefusa.org/ on your mobile phone. Follow the prompts, then put your phone down. For every ten minutes that you don’t touch your phone, a donation that is the equivalent to a day’s worth of clean water for a child in need.
Knowing that good is coming from me putting my phone down works as motivation. Hopefully by the time this promotion is over (March 31), I will have broken the habit of mindless scrolling, and reconnected to the world around me.
While the timer is running, interesting facts appear on the screen- sobering facts about the number of people who have to walk for water each day, the number of hours spent gathering water, and more.
So that’s my Lenten plan this year. I’m hoping to keep my phone down and my heart open. I’ll be sure to report back.