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So I Gave Up My Kindle

     Unintended consequences. I gave up my Kindle for Lent. That wasn't a particularly spiritual thing to do, but it was definitely something that would remind me that Lent was affecting my life. That Kindle was my constant companion—from the time I sat down to eat breakfast until the end of my day, when I snuggled under the covers in a sort of upright position with the Kindle telling me bedtime stories. So it was, for me, a sacrifice. I didn't know what I would do with all that empty time but I was about to find out.

     Thirty days later my constant companion—my abandoned companion, I should say—is still residing on a shelf on a bedside table. I have survived thus far, with only ten days to go.

     A funny thing happened to me on the way to the...  How does that go? I forget, but the strangest thing happened when I cast aside my Kindle for the forty days of Lent. Not so important, but one result was that I became super-involved in the crazy presidential primaries. This was no surprise, as I've been a political junkie since my childhood days. In Maine, back in the days when ballots were counted one by one and reported over the radio throughout the night, Mom and Dad let my sister and me stay up. We tallied the votes on paper as they came in while our brothers, too young to care, had a good night's sleep.

     Needless to say, if you've been watching or hearing about the primaries—and how could you not?—the primaries have provided a most satisfying substitute for the fiction locked away in my Kindle, but there's been another turn of events since I abandoned the Kindle and left my life with empty spaces. Those spaces have been filled.

     With what? At a loss for something to read that wasn't fiction, because even a real book would have been cheating—I was making up the rules as I went, kind of like the Republicans might be doing in June at their convention—that first evening I picked up a small purple book given to us at St. Luke's church at the beginning of Lent. The book, "Rediscover Jesus," by Matthew Kelly, consists of forty short chapters, one for each day of Lent.

     I couldn't "Rediscover Jesus," because I've never discovered him. God has always been my friend—I hope!—but I'd never made friends with Jesus. I don't know why. I think all the pictures I've seen of him put me off; I don't know. So here was a chance to discover him. I was skeptical, but "Rediscover Jesus" became my evening reading.

     One of the chapters told me—okay, suggested, that I wouldn't get anywhere in rediscovering Jesus if I didn't read the Gospels the same way I would read a book, all at once. So, not having my Kindle to lure me away, I added the Gospels to my evening reading. I chose a contemporary translation of the New Testament, "The Message," by Eugene H. Peterson, and obediently—so unlike me!—started to read that very same evening.

     I've been faithfully reading "Rediscover Jesus" and "The Message" every day now and— surprise! What I thought was a material and very un-spiritual thing to do for my Lenten sacrifice has turned into a spiritual thing. Who would've guessed? I hope this helps me become a better person as I begin to discover Jesus and if it does, I'm giving credit where it belongs: to my Kindle, of course.

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