Lent started yesterday, Ash Wednesday, the day after Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), and lasts for 40 days, not counting Sundays (actually 46 days). It is a time set aside to focus on fasting and praying by giving up something, usually something that’s bad for you anyway, like chocolate, swearing, etc. Interestingly, the tradition started around the same time Valentine’s Day started, in 325 A.D. Most principles of Lent have been relaxed or watered-down to a great extent since its beginning, but the main principle of taking time to focus on and return to a relationship with Jesus Christ remains. It is believed that through fasting and prayer, we remove some of the clutter and noise from our lives that keeps us from being able to hear God’s voice and follow His purpose for our lives, so to that end, the benefits far outweigh the 46-day sacrifice.

Interestingly enough, the main source of my information turned to social media, namely, Twitter, to find answers to the question, “what are the top things people give up for Lent?” Here are the top 10.

1. Social networking – ironic, since that’s where this list came from.

2. Twitter. Ha! See number 1.

3. Chocolate  But what about all the after V-Day sales?

4. Alcohol

5. Sweets. All of them? Really?

6. Meat

7. Swearing

8. Coffee   I know. Just the thought makes about 70% of the world nervous.

9. Facebook. Here we go with the social media again.

10. Fast food

Whether you’re giving up something for Lent or not, I wish you success in your endeavors.