You thought God was an architect, now you know He’s something like a pipe bomb ready to blow — Jason Isbell
Whether you’re religious or not, I highly recommend Lent. It’s a time to reflect and reset. You don’t have to believe in an Abrahamic religion to appreciate the mindfulness and self-discipline Lent imposes.
These days, faith is difficult. I’ve never believed God has a plan for everyone — every homeless person, every refugee, everyone slaughtered by authoritarian assholes. I’ve only been able to reconcile faith and reason by believing that there may be a celestial being who doesn’t intervene in the cruelties of our planet but welcomes all halfway decent people, even if they make the wrong choice at the theological buffet, to a better life. (This is called “universalism,” and it has had spells of popularity over the millennia but is usually drowned out by people who use religion to control us. Can’t collect money for those private jets or rocket-propelled grenades if people think they can attain salvation or riches somewhere other than your own church.) I don’t even mind if the evil people are welcomed in that life, though I do hope I can spend part of eternity watching Vladimir Putin, Saddam Hussein, Marine Le Pen and Ted Cruz be held accountable for their actions before joining us for what I presume will be a eternal feast of pizza and ice cream.
It’s also difficult to have faith in any institutions right now. We keep electing cretins. Journalism is failing. The music industry is a joke. The National League now has the designated hitter. (My father would be howling with rage if he was still alive.)
But we can’t dwell in the negative. That’s why I’ve observed Lent this year by refraining from political discussion and doomscrolling. I avoided reading the news as much as I could.
I highly recommend doing this every once in a while. It’s a good way to reset your consumption habits and think about whether you really need to spend every day of your short time on this planet sharing and complaining about news, which evolves more slowly than our 24/7 obsessions would have us believe. I also spent far less time on Twitter, and I’m much better off because of it.