I did not grow up in a church where we gave up something for Lent. I still don't go to a church that mentions much about it.
My Catholic friends and students have always talked about sacrificing something at Lent: soda, candy, sweets, etc. I've listened, but haven't thought much about it.
In the past, I've given up my Diet Pepsi a couple of times. I drink too much caffeine, so it was as much about breaking that habit as anything. I would taper off, and then go without it. While I love my Diet Pepsi, it didn't seem like too bit of a deal. It was healthier for me, and so I needed to do it.
This year was different. What I gave up didn't actually help me at all.
By giving up Facebook and Pinterest, it isolated me a bit. And now I finally understand why people give up something during the Lenten season. Never before have I spent so much time thinking about the reason for sacrificing something. By choosing something that I love and that takes up quite a bit of my time, I missed it daily. And every time I missed it, I thought of the sacrifice that was made for me.
And that is the whole purpose of giving up something during the 40 days of Lent. (It was really 46, but who is counting?!)
I'm a slow learner, but I finally get it.