I’ll be going away for awhile. At least online, that is.
I am taking a hiatus from social media. And blogging.
Don’t get me wrong, social media has its benefits. And I absolutely love blogging. But I feel the Lord calling me to give them up for awhile. 40 days to be exact.
Lent starts tomorrow. The 40 days leading up to Easter. The resurrection of Christ. A death that made possible life in the greatest sense of the word.
It’s a time when in choosing to give up – or “fast” – something we like, we “remember the temptation, the suffering, and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.” And this season “begins with self-examination – a time to evaluate your life and seek spiritual renewal” (Bel Air Pres. Lenten Devotional).
To make room for the “new,” we must get rid of the “old.” To experience a birth of a new self, we must die to our old self. In a great talk about putting to death earthly things, Keenan Barber said:
“There are parts of our lives we have to die to in order to come alive.”
And Jesus himself says in Matthew 16:25:
“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”
Giving up social media is in no way “losing my life” but it will be a radical change, no doubt. I’m as guilty as anyone of being “addicted” to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest…
If you really think about it though, all this “connectivity” is really creating superficiality. It seems we are more worried about capturing the perfect Instagram photo than actually being in the moment. Or checking our phones constantly at the expense of the human beings right in front of us.
I heard a profound statement once:
“We are human beings, not human doings.”
There are a few reasons I am giving up social media:
- I want to find my self-worth in Christ – just being His child – not in doing anything. Not in how many of my photos are “liked,” tweets “retweeted,” or blog entries read.
- I want to really know people – not just this cyber/avatar version of them. I want to know their dreams and struggles – not just view their Pinterest-worthy photos and think I know what they’re about.
- I want to use my time here on this earth wisely, not “accidentally” wasting precious hours scrolling through five different apps on my phone.
I think of all the times I feel fragmented because of these distractions and how wise Clyde Kilby is in saying:
“I shall not allow the devilish onrush of this century to usurp all my energies but will instead, as Charles Williams suggested, ‘fulfill the moment as the moment.’ I shall try to live well just now because the only time that exists is just now.”
Elijah fled for his life through the wilderness for 40 days. Moses fasted and prayed for 40 days. Jesus himself was tempted in the wilderness for 40 days.
Pretty sure I can handle this “wilderness.”
It won’t be easy. It will take some getting used to. But that’s the point.
Each time I catch myself reaching out for my phone, I will think of Christ reaching out to me – wanting so desperately for me to seek Him, know Him, and find life in Him.
Colossians 3:3 tells us:
“For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.”
And in the “hiding” of my life in Him, who knows what I may find – or rather, what He may reveal. After all, He revealed to Elijah how to overcome his enemies. He gave Moses the Ten Commandments. And, well, Jesus withstood the temptation and successfully fulfilled His mission as Savior for all mankind.
I predict at the very least I will find truth in the following statement:
“How much happier you would be if you only knew that these people cared nothing about you! How much larger your life would be if your self could become smaller in it; if you could really look at other men with common curiosity and pleasure… You would break out of this tiny and tawdry theater in which your own little plot is always being played, and you would find yourself under a freer sky, in a street full of splendid strangers.” – G.K. Chesterson