Well, hello social media! After writing last week’s blog, I went on a one week soul vacation from Facey and Candy Crush. It was an enlightening experience; not one of those ‘shout out loud’ moments, but more a small gentle waterfall of revelation. So here are my thoughts from my week of technological silence:
Returning to social media was underwhelming. Giving up Facebook was more difficult than giving up my wee game. When the highly anticipated moment arrived, I said to Caleb with a glint in my eye (and only half joking), “See you in three hours.” Well. Twenty short minutes later, I had caught up on all my notifications and was left somewhat deflated. All those little red flags promised so much but delivered so little (apart from a few special words from friends). All I had really missed is that Prince had died. That was weird. My immediate thought was that FB is such a false reality. It leads us to believe that we’re involved in a rich community of relationship, and while it is handy for keeping in touch with those friends afar, it is absolutely no substitute for genuine soul connection. It’s kind of like snacking when you’re starving for a proper meal.
Candy Crush and FB filled different purposes in my day. Playing a mindless little game was a way of filling time, keeping myself entertained, distracting myself from being still, and gaining an odd sense of achievement. Being a stay-at-home-mum is so frequently this relentless day-in-day-out mishmash of intangibles. There’s not a lot of readily measurable accomplishment and success that is verifiable. When I pass a level on Candy Crush, the deep American voice tells me I’ve done a good job. Why thank you Candy-Crush-man, I appreciate your feedback. Although to be fair I pushed Judah through a puddle in the pram the other day and he was like, “Good job Mum.” So. Cute. Anyway, the long and short of that story is that I deleted Candy Crush halfway though the week. Because I realised I was addicted and I actually didn’t enjoy it that much. Plus it freed up time to read, play with Judah, and spend some time tree-gazing in my back yard.
As already mentioned, giving up Facey was much more difficult. And since I wasn’t playing a game, I had time to think about why. It’s become more apparent to me in recent times that there’s this deep cavernous void in the pit of my soul. It’s a place that was formed because of many childhood experiences (more on that in another blog – maybe next week). It’s a place that needs to be filled with the love and light of Jesus, but I try to fill it with other stuff. Mostly I try and satisfy it with other people’s approval. Enter Facebook. It’s so temporarily nice to get likes and kind comments on posts and photos. Going without that affirmation for a week highlighted the state of my soul more clearly.
My key intention over my soul vacation was to create more space to focus on Christ. And what I discovered was that in the stillness I found an unexpected gift; peace. I though being still would unleash an anxious voice in my soul. But what I found was tranquility. It was as if Jesus had provided a secret garden of peace, but I had to walk through the gate to enter. I have a massive aversion to trinkets and ornaments. They are contraindicated in my life. There was a period of time in my adolescence when it seemed like every gift I received was a teddy bear or a candle. It was so ironic. Like how I really don’t like dogs, and they sense it and try really hard to be friends with me…and then they go and stick their heads in my crotch and I’m left doing the super-awkward leg-cross-bend-over-while-high-pitched-laughing thing…anyway, I digress. Somewhere around that time someone gave me a wee card with my name and a corresponding scripture on it. I wouldn’t normally keep something like that, as I said, contraindicated. But for some reason I stuck it on my mirror, and it said this, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, he whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusts in thee.” That verse from Isaiah rung true this week. I discovered that life has a million flashing neon signs that are attempting to steal my gaze from God. It’s part of my call as an apprentice of Jesus to train my focus onto him. And I’m discovering more and more why he wants us to do this. The rewards are infinitely priceless.
Moving forward, I can guarantee that other attractions will try to replace the distractions I’ve farewelled this week. But I’m going to continue with my new habits of contemplative prayer and mindfulness…which basically means really noticing what’s around me. Being present. Feeling the breeze float over me. Breathing deeply. Sitting with Jesus. It’s a sweet, gentle and rich new adventure.
Bless you guys,