Just an FYI, this was written on November 23, not today. Because I’m a little ridiculous sometimes, I accidentally posted this to my old blog. HA. So here it is. 🙂 Moving it over here, because it’s actually kind of a key window into my heart and life right now.
Today has been a truly beautiful day.
I woke up early, ran a few errands, came home and snuggled with my puppy, spent some wonderful quality time with my husband, and now I’m trying my hand at making some baked potato soup.
But I’m still working on processing a pretty ugly reality. Last night, after Josh went to bed, I spent some time thinking about life. I’ve been reading this book called Abundant Simplicity. I’ve read it before, and even addressed it before in my blog. But as the November heads out and December comes along, I’ve been doing some research on the church calendar and what the season of Advent really means to us as believers. And the more I read and pray, the more I feel as though God is calling me into a spirit of calm for the next few weeks, to slow down during the season in which we generally speed up. To do less instead of more. To spend less instead of more. To eat less instead of more. And those thoughts keep bringing me back to this book. And last night, in my reading time, I read a few things that were hard for me to swallow…mostly because I see their truth in myself, and I don’t want to.
An inner neediness of soul pushes us to indulge ourselves and get people to like us. Simplicity disciplines empower us to temporarily give these things up. When we do, we see how deeply we have counted on them to (falsely) feel nurtured and acceptable. We also see how they suck up our time, drain our energy and create craziness in our inner life.
So last night, after I read that, I found myself lying on our couch, watching the Christmas lights flicker on our tree, and tentatively asking the question, “How do I indulge myself and get people to like me?” And believe you me, a large part of me was hoping for a non-answer. Ah, but no. Ask and you shall receive.
Lately, I’ve felt a lot of little nudgings in regards to my constant presence on Facebook. I can’t tell you how often in the recent past I’ve found myself frustrated over something someone said, or hurt by a comment that probably didn’t mean anything, or irritated by the petty drama that people find important. And as I mull those things over, this quiet calmness inside me keeps saying…
Is this making you a better person? More specifically, is this making you more like Me?
“Uh, yeah. I can use it as a tool to minister.”
But are you?
Those times when you use it as a tool to minister, is Facebook the only avenue you could use for that ministry?
“Well…no. But it’s the most convenient way.”
And you know how much I care about convenience, right?
Let me ask you another question: what is your motivation when you write on Facebook? What makes you choose to put certain things on there? Where is your heart while you’re forming your words and thoughts?
So here comes the ugly reality. Facebook is dominantly an image-builder for me. If I can be that honest, that’s about what it comes down to. I love when people think I’m funny or smart or full of wisdom or thought-provoking or that I live a great life. Facebook is the workshop in which I constantly craft new images to the god of myself. It is a really good way to manage what people think of me. People I don’t even know. People who don’t know me, in all reality. People I haven’t seen since high school, and wasn’t friends with then. It is just weapon battle in the war for approval from places other than God.
I wish you could be inside my head right now. Actually, I’m glad you can’t, but I’m going to give you a small piece of it anyway. Right now, as I’m typing, I’m fighting opening another tab on my browser to check my Facebook and see if anyone’s commented on anything I’ve said lately. That sounds crazy and so terribly self-absorbed, but that’s the reality.
Come away from it, kiddo. Come take some rest.
“But I’ll be out of touch with the people I love.”
Can you trust Me that those people won’t disappear if you let go of this? And that maybe, just maybe, you might actually find a better way to be in touch with the people you love? The ones you genuinely, deeply, truly love. The ones I’ve put in your life for a purpose, for a lifetime. Can you trust Me with that?
“But what else will I do with my time?”