The seventh day of Lent

Wednesday after 1 Lent

"Fasting can be an opportunity to examine one's whole lifestyle, a reminder that we almost certainly have more than we need and an invitation to consider what we could and should live without." Some years ago, we spent several weeks living in a rural village where there was no running water. We had to carry our water in buckets from a spring a half mile away from the house we were living in. We cannot live without water, but we could live without running water, and for a few weeks we did. For thousands of years, human beings lived without electricity and the appliances it runs. Some people in the less developed parts of the world still do. A Lenten fast certainly would not include abstaining from water, or even from running water if one has access to it. And realistically, for those in the developed parts of the world, giving up electricity is not likely to be a serious consideration. On the other hand, the way we use electrical power and the consequences of creating a sufficient supply of electricity to meet the demand we create by our ever-expanding lifestyles, ought to be a serious consideration as we examine ourselves in this season of Lent. It becomes a matter not only of our personal lifestyles, but of the way our lifestyles impact both the human community and the creation at large. Recognizing that small actions are not only symbolic but can ultimately add up to a large impact, take some action to reduce your use of electricity this Lent. A simple, but effective, way of doing this would be to replace the incandescent light bulbs in your house to energy efficient fluorescent bulbs. The initial cost is a small sacrifice as these new bulbs are more expensive than the old ones. In the long run, however, they will save you money: first because they will lower your electrical bill, and secondly because they last longer than the old bulbs. But, most importantly, making this change will have a positive impact on the way our personal lifestyles effect our larger environment, both human and natural.

We recommend a website that we discovered last year: the Tearfund Carbon Fast. The Carbon Fast consists of various practical ways to "fast and pray with Tearfund this Lent to cut your carbon use and help protect poor people from climate change."

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