Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Day 7: Media/Technology

          So, it’s day 7 now of the media/technology fast, and I have to say: I’m kind of enjoying it, actually. I really kind of wish that I could COMPLETELY unplug for the month (well, I might make it a couple of days. A month is a LONG time). You know, where I turn off my cell phone and toss it in the bottom of my closet, don't touch a computer, and don't even look at a TV. Unfortunately, though, I have to stay connected to civilization digitally because I have things like school that I have to prepare for this month. I actually feel like I’m cheating because I had to order textbooks online. YUCK. (Oh, who am I kidding. I actually love getting my textbooks because I’m a nerd. And, no, I’m actually not being sarcastic about this.) And after I wrote this paragraph I realized that I said “actually” four times. I could have changed it, but I *actually* decided to let you laugh at me instead. Go ahead.
A couple of my textbooks that've already come in!!!
I cannot WAIT for school to start back!
So what if I am a nerd.

            But I digress. Back to how I’m guilty of cheating with the media/tech fast. I’ve caught myself sitting down in my living room watching the Today Show, suddenly realizing what I’m doing, and then jumping up, sprinting around my living room to find the remote, and turning that sneaky little thing off. It was all its fault.
            I also have to admit that I now check my email about 25 times every day because it’s the only app on my iPhone that’s legal for me to check. I’m trying, okay? I’m now revising that rule to checking my email ONCE a day. (And let me tell you. This is going to be a struggle.) Why is checking my phone for some new little tidbit of information such an addiction? It’s so hard to shake.
            Enough with my failure, though. It really has been nice not having Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, radio, television, and other things to distract me throughout the day. Just in this week alone I’ve finished two books and have started a third. I have come to realize that I have so much down time that I usually use social media to fill, while I really could be doing something worthwhile. It’s safe to say that I’ve definitely kept things cleaner this week (like my room--well, sort of...), and I’ve also been craftier because I’ve had more time on my hands. Well, really, I’ve had the same amount of time on my hands, but I’ve been using that time to do things that are a whole heck of a lot more enjoyable and beneficial than sitting around scrolling through social media sites. Social media just really isn’t that interesting, people.
            I keep thinking back to the first day that I started this fast. I shut my computer, turned off the TV, and then proceeded to delete all of the unnecessary apps on my iPhone. If you don’t have an iPhone/aren’t familiar with how they work, then you won’t get this. But, if you are, then you’ll understand:
            I began to delete my apps, and almost started laughing out loud—because there all my cute little apps were, shaking before me, almost begging me not to delete them. They looked so sad, shivering like they do. But as I hit the little “x” in the top-left corner of almost half of my applications, I felt almost free. It was a relief to not have them there, demanding me to check them every five minutes. And it was nice to know that this month I wouldn’t have to worry about what they had to say to me or what I had to post in order to make myself look the absolute best that I can. Because, if we’re honest, that’s 90% of what social media is—an outlet for us to put our best foot forward. A place that’s easy for us to make people “like us”  (no pun intended) because we only post what we want people to see.
            And I hate saying that because I know that THIS will be going on my Facebook and I don’t necessarily want people to know that I struggle with pleasing others and with wanting them to think well of me. But it’s time for me to start breaking out of that mold. As Christians we’re called to confess our sins if we want to be healed. 

"Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working."
James 5:16, ESV

          Transparency brings healing, and it also takes the focus (and the pressure) off of trying to be perfect all the time.
          NEWSFLASH: I am not perfect. You are not perfect. And this life isn’t about us, and it’s not about us trying to BE perfect, either. This life is about loving Christ and serving others, and when we try and appear perfect, never confessing our struggles with each other, it’s very easy for the world to point fingers at us and call us hypocrites when it becomes obvious that we’re NOT all that we appear that we are. And it WILL become obvious. 
            But what would happen if we started letting brothers and sisters in Christ (or, better, nonbelievers) in on our dirt? What if we were a little bit vulnerable and shared the struggles that we were going through, no matter how “bad” they might make us look? Chances are, they’re struggling or have struggled in the past with the same issues. God purposefully put us here together, to hold each other up and push us on toward glorifying Him each and every day. And instead of coming across as trying to be "holier than thou" (which is the rep that most Christians get these days), maybe a nonbeliever might see that though you don't have it all together, God still loves, forgives, upholds, and is in the process of sanctifying you.
          I can tell you that every time I’ve been vulnerable, I haven’t been disappointed—and I’ve actually seen God work in my life (and heal me!) because of it. There’s just something about letting go of your pride and being broken before a brother, and ultimately the Lord. 
          Somehow I think that’s what He wants from us, anyway. 

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