It seems like much of my time on my phone is spent deleting Facebook / LinkedIn / Pinterest notifications. Thankfully I’m not on Twitter or Instagram or else I would probably have developed carpel tunnel by now with all the swiping to delete action. I have one friend in particular who posts onto Facebook a lot. A LOT. The thing is though, that quite regularly among her flurry of posts are ones about the need to reduce screen time and the dangers of modern day screen addiction. Though I understand (and technically agree with) with the sentiment, constant posts/tweets/blogs about it just seems a trifle ironic…
Social media has gone from next big thing to hot topic to business (and for some, personal) necessity in a relatively short amount of time. What was once cool innovation is now a required skillset for many jobs. Unfortunately I often feel that what was a “means to an end” has now become the end in itself. A friend of mine in the States works on TV, but he’s required to constantly post/tweet throughout the day as well…not because he’s passing on particularly vital information but rather to simply reinforce their social media presence. That, it turns out, is more important for this news station than the actual transfer of news.
This concept of the means becoming more important than the end is not a new issue though. In broader terms, I’d relate it to the issue of something good/useful becoming something of worship. When a cow becomes a golden calf… When sheaves of grain become the impetus for murder… When a child becomes a god.
I can think of no greater, more amazing gift in my life than my children. I have thanked God repeatedly for them. I know He has taught me so much through them. He has stretched my humanity, increased my capacity for sacrifice, compassion, generosity. You could say they have been His most successful tools in shaping me.
I use the word tools, but of course He has equal devotion and plans for these tools. They are equally precious in His sight as the “end project”. But what happens when tools are worshiped? I’ll admit it. The biggest competition God has for my heart is my children. And I often reduce these wonderful sources of His impact in my life into my own private treasure chest. These beings that have brought to a deeper understanding of God’s heart, a greater thankfulness for the fact that I can call Almighty God my father, who have been vital in my relationship with Him, suddenly they become The Most Important Relationship in my life.
I often forget that before they were mine, they are His. They are integral, purposeful parts of His wonderful, exquisite plan… They are not just my end game.
Before Abraham took Isaac up the hillside in Genesis 22, I am pretty sure he had some grand expectations of Isaac’s future. After all, God had promised Abraham a dynasty like none other, and Isaac was part of that plan…wasn’t he? (Gen 17:19-21) Or perhaps, if Abraham bears any resemblance to me, Isaac had gone from being a part of the plan to the key…and ultimately became The Plan itself.
And perhaps God saw that Abraham needed a reboot; he had become frozen and God knew he needed to surrender back to God what is His in order to get the plan going again. Perhaps Abraham was approaching a “blue screen of death” level of inaction, and the only way to restart him was that journey up the mountainside…
Surrender is not favoured as a concept in this day and age; it is considered a loss. Yet surrender to God brings out victory, joy, fulfilment beyond imagining. It brings about His Plan to its glorious end.
So back to social media…I’m grateful to be a part of this blog, this virtual community. It allows us to encourage each other at 2:00am or in that 30 min bus journey to work. But I would still be happier sitting down together in the flesh over coffee and cake, so feel free to drop on by whenever…just text/IM/WhatsApp/email me to set a date… 🙂