How many different titles did I think of for this post? You don’t want to know.
It would seem I’m out of love with facebook for a moment. Or maybe it’s easier for me to love my friends right now if I’m not on facebook. I’m down to stalking one person’s page for just-in-case baby news (ahem, Katherine) once a day for a few minutes at most.
I’m not scrolling, liking nor commenting. I’m certainly not posting. I’m using my alternate facebook account created for the blog to promote the blog and Catholic content, but that’s it.
Oh, and I’ve closed my twitter window (the account is still there, but I’m not checking it).
See, it got like this, I started to see a lot of my friends, friends who are constantly talking about Jesus and how much they lurve Him, who were simultaneously so negative and fearful. The main catalyst appeared to be ebola but mix in that it’s an election year and the announcement of the Supreme Court’s decision on gay “marriage,” this little thing we’ll call the Synod, and the like and I was seeing a perfect storm of Christians yelling, “Jesus, I LOVE YOU!” as they turned and ran away from Him. And to me, that’s just sad.
I get having anxiety. I totes get that. I get having sad moments. I even understand depression, having suffered with the cross most of my life. I also understand that a constant barrage of what’s upsetting your or will further your depression, isn’t healthy. One friend even has been online looking up every bad news thing she can about ebola to the effect of neglecting her child. Seriously, she posted a pic of him in head to toe lotions and foods that he got into while she was facebooking “for just a minute” (her posts at a rate of 2 per minute for 45 minutes straight tells a different story).
So, I closed the window and moved on. I did let people know I wasn’t checking in except they may see instagram posts from me periodically.
This time it wasn’t about what a huge time-waster facebook is (and is it ever) nor breaking an addictive grip. No, this time, it was about removing negativity and focusing on what God wants not what I want. There’s a lot of really great stuff happening in my life right now. There’s a lot of negativity and gossip being shared on facebook. At least in my feed. Same with twitter, which I normally try to ignore but lately it’s gotten bad there too.
I am praying for our country and world, but I don’t feel the need to dwell in the negative. That’s not me putting my head in the sand, it’s me choosing to focus on God and not the world. Today’s Gospel has the Pharisees attempting to trick Jesus with their question about paying tribute to Jesus. Jesus, of course, I mean He is Jesus, knows what they intend to accomplish. They want to anger the Jews by Jesus declaring Caesar is owed anything and they want to anger the Romans by having Jesus denounce Caesar. But Jesus asks for the coin and asks an obvious question. Whose image is on this coin? “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s but give to God what is God’s” has always been a justification in some circles for paying your taxes. Jesus said to do it. This morning our priest took it one step further, yes you have to pay your taxes but, you owe everything else to God. You are His. Your body, mind, soul and strength should be devoted to Him.
How this touched my heart. More and more lately, I’ve been telling people I’m a Christian first. Not a wife, mother, daughter, friend or American…but a Christian. A follower of Jesus Christ. A child of God created in His image. And that, more than anything, has motivated my need to move away from facebook at this exact moment for who knows how long. My trust, my eyes must be on Him who died and rose from the dead for me. And if I allow myself to be swallowed whole by the negativity of this world, the crises of it, I’m not looking at Him and hoping in Him and I’m certainly not acknowledging that all this will be done for His good. No matter what. And despite what many of my Christian friends say, they can’t quite get on board with being okay with praying for bad situations and things and not being OUTRAGED!!! or FRANTIC!!! Unfortunately, my propensity to sin and draw myself further from God is increased when I’m around people with those attitudes. My “need” to be uncharitable in thoughts and words increases. As are thoughts of thunder-punching people in the throat. Obviously, I need to distance myself from things that increase those thoughts. At this moment in time, that means facebook and twitter.
I’ve said before, social media is not inherently bad. It’s all in how we use it. And knowing when to step away. I am sure, as always, a time will come that I will need to be on facebook to closely follow personal situations with friends that I am not close enough to follow in person. I am sure I will start, at some point, seeing cheerful and Spirit-filled posts again. Authentically cheerful posts. But for now, I’m okay with just doing the blog thing there and doing my own thing for the rest of my limited free time. And that means spending a lot more time in prayer and reading Scripture and thanking God for my family.