I’ve been thinking a lot today about rejection.
A week ago, I walked away from the Facebook world after a lot of thought and prayer on the subject. I did so anticipating on some level that at some point, I would probably fail. I have several times before. I’ve tried to take a sabbatical from Facebook before, but it generally only lasts for so long. Usually until I feel like I’m missing something or get truly, deeply bored and wander back out of habit and a need to do something to fill the space around me.
The crazy thing about this time around is, I can’t really say I miss it. I can’t say my life feels less full without it. I think God has gone a long way in teaching me over the past few years what makes a life abundant and fulfilled, and the more I seek and know those things that make a life abundant and fulfilled, the less I desire things that just make them busy and mindless. Of course, there have been moments in which I’ve opened my computer and my fingers have, out of sheer habit, navigated me there. That’s made me really truly aware of how often I exist on auto-pilot. But I can’t say I’ve had any moments of real, true desire to go back or irritation with the fact that I made a a commitment not to.
However, there’s definitely been a level of anxiety at the root of this in certain moments.
I feel as though I’m coming to a point in my life where I, personally, openly reject the way the world is. I don’t always think the way we as Americans do things is the only way they can be done. Or even the best way. Or even a good way at all.
Here’s a scary statistic. The average American who lives a 65-year life will spend 9 of those years (which amounts to approximately 4 hours a day) with their eyes on a television. That doesn’t include computer screens or phone screen. That’s not a statistic I even want to look into, to be honest. That means the average American spends over a tenth of their life, 13.8% to be exact, vicariously living the life of someone else, real or imagined, instead of actually living their own. That’s the average.
I openly and wholeheartedly reject the idea that this is how things should be. That this is normal. That this is what we were created for.
I openly and wholeheartedly reject the idea that I need and even deserve the right to eat until I feel like my stomach might explode when almost a billion people on this planet are in starvation mode on a daily basis.
I openly and wholeheartedly reject the idea that our education system is what’s going to save the next generation.
Those are just a few things on a long list of cultural realities that I reject more and more daily.
But the thing that feels scary about rejecting these realities is that it feels very much like rejecting a lot of people I love very much, who accept those realities without question or desire to change them for themselves. My dear friend Dezi sent me a link to a blog this week, which I will post below, that definitely resonated in my spirit. I will give the same disclaimer Dezi did to me–I don’t agree with all of the ways this woman looks at life or spirituality. But she is completely dead-on regarding many of the topics I’m wrestling with lately, and one thing she said stood out to me this week: “How do I honor others while standing up for my Truth? It IS possible to remain grounded in Truth, despite the confrontation or fear or anger it may trigger in others. Despite the confrontation or fear or anger it may trigger in us.”
I am praying daily for that to be true. Because in moments, I feel like I’m in the process of walking away from this version of life. Walking away from a lot of things I’ve just accepted as true for the entirety of my life, ideals that are well formed into the root of the life of our culture. As God continues work so hard on revealing His truth to me, and on refining what that truth actually means for me–the implications of it in my every day life–I find myself praying daily that He shows me how to translate it to the people I love most. To give them unconditional love for where they are in their journey with Christ, but also to challenge them in the realities that He’s teaching me. I’m praying that I learn to lead and teach and inspire more by life and example than by word and argument.
As I learn to reject the life this world offers, may I learn to do so without rejecting the people He has given me.