February 24, 2006


Yup, it's that time of year again.

Miraculously, this topic was brought up by one of my co-workers, who is an orthodox Christian. He was explaining to another co-worker that he had to give up basically all meats except fish until Easter. That was when I piped in about my ban on MSN last year, and video games the year before. I was actually surprised because I didn't know that he was a Christian.

Anyway, it's that time of year again, when I have to try and figure out something I could give up for God, in His Name, starting from Ash Wednesday (March 1), until Easter Sunday.

The chat thing is big, but I did that already and I don't feel like I've been necessarily chatting excessively to have it be something that I need to give up. And I'm already not gaming that much having quit World of Warcraft a month ago. And I've been playing my friend's xbox, which I had borrowed, but not to the point that I am setting aside time to play.

One co-worker suggested I give up the use of my iPod. I told him that would be nothing because I would just sleep on the subway instead.

But what I have been doing a lot of though, is watching television and to a lesser extent, surfing the web. Television has been on my mind a lot, what with my future wife on American Idol every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Survivor on Thursdays, Lost on Wednesdays, 24 on Mondays, Smallville on Thursdays. The list goes on and on. And then there's sports. I'm watching them all the time, and then I go on the web and read up on them too. It's an endless cycle of entertaining myself in some way or another.

So, without further adieu, my Lent for this year will be....

[drumroll please]

I, Brian Yao, will give up all entertaining technology including: television, computer, internet and portable music outside of work hours, to God. Starting on Wednesday, March 1, 2006 until April 8, 2006.

The conditions are that anything that is under my control I will keep in control, but anything outside of my control -- well, that's out of my control. So if someone has their music playing and I happen to hear it, then so be it. Or if someone tells me the score of something, then I will listen.

This is in my opinion, as close to a total sacrifice on my part as I can think of. I will be giving up:
  • March Madness
  • 24
  • Lost
  • Alias (when it returns)
  • Smallville
  • Essentially, the rest of the Raptor season
  • Survivor
  • Apprentice
  • Leaf games
  • Academy Awards
  • Katharine McPhee (American Idol)
  • Xbox
  • Family Guy
  • Music on MP3
  • Music, radio on my car
  • Prison Break (when it returns)
  • Blogging (unless I update at work?)
  • Surfing the web
  • Chatting and emailing (except at work)
  • Movies
  • I will add to this as I think of more

  • There's some debate over the conditions of Lent. For instance, March 1 to April 15 is not 40 days but actually 46 days. Supposedly it doesn't count Sundays. Maybe I could do this and just go all out on Sundays -- that's a possibility. But the way I figure it, is that I'll be cheating at work anyway so I should ignore the skipping of Sundays. Oh, and I'll have to cheat once when I do my taxes, which will be some time in April, depending on when my dad flies in.

    So. There you have it. In 2006 Lent, I'll be pretending that I don't have internet or a television -- entertaining myself by playing guitar, reading books and talking on the phone. For 46 days.



    michellejl said...

    Mind you, anytime my computer breaks or something and I have to go without, it's amazing how good it feels to take a break from the emails, msn, blog...
    But 46 days? that's a looong time.
    Kudos to you for doing this, Brian!
    Not sure what I'm giving up yet...hmmm...

    i. said...

    So here's my question for you:

    If you ban all things as you listed BUT fill that time with other noise / things, is there purpose to having done all those things?

    What I am asking is are you swapping Internet for Phone, TV for books, meat for fish, etc?

    If you do not use the time and the acts of Lent to turn to and reflect on God (although no doubt you will spend hours in meditation :P), have you really spent the time preparing for Easter and Jesus death and resurrection, have you really tasted sacrifice?

    eBrian said...

    Meat for fish? are you crazy? Where will I get iron? I'll be sleepy all the time! I was thinking about this on the subway ride home and I was actually hoping that no one read and that I could edit the post and change it to just TV. Oh well..

    Thank you for the reminder though, I hope that people realize the purpose for Lent. It's not like I'm trying to pull off a crazy stunt for Jesus. Perhaps on Tuesday night I'll post one last time, an explanation of what I'm doing and the meaning behind it. As for sacrifice -- I understood it 12 years ago when I decided to get baptised.

    michellejl said...

    I was baptized about 2 year ago, and understand sacrifice also. I will say however, that I don't know a lot about lent. I had never even heard of it before, until last year when my company passed on coffee for lent. and I was like lent? She filled me in then. So I've never participated before, but am going to be doing some more research on it...and I guess this will be my first time. I'm almost thinking I should go without any blogging/reading other blogs. That would be hard for me to give up.
    p.s. I don't think anyone thinks you are trying to pull off a big stunt for Jesus...at least I didn't. But what "I" is saying, definitely make sense...

    eBrian said...

    That's interesting that your company did it. Do you work for a Christian organization?

    michellejl said...

    Oops, I meant company as in my spiritual mentor coming over to my house...sorry for the confusion...

    eBrian said...


    You know what's funny, is that whenever I'm in a meeting, I half expect them to open with a prayer. Of course it never happens, but for some reason I always expect it. I guess I've attended too many church meetings in my lifetime.

    I was gonna post about this phenomenon and you just reminded me of it.