Since I announced, nearly three weeks ago, that I would be deactivating my Facebook account indefinitely I’ve had many ask, “Why are you leaving Facebook?” It has been easiest for me to simply answer, “For many reasons.” Mostly because it is the truth!! However those who know me well, who know how I “operate,” recognize I prayed and properly discerned this choice of mine. Some of these reasons are, of course, obvious ones. The “time” element leads the way! And ultimately it IS the time on Facebook that has affirmed I’m not using this (my time,) as “wisely” as I should.
How much time I’ve spent scrolling….scrolling…scrolling in an effort to connect with all the people I enjoy celebrating life with! It can be so exciting! In this small way I am able to experience the many wonderful things that my family & friends are showcasing in their lives. The trips they have taken, the way their families have grown, the latest birthday or anniversary, weddings and graduations, and especially the color of my daughter’s latest nail polish!!! (I really liked the Valentine’s manicure best.) In the space of the 8 x 11 screen, which on most occasions sits on my lap, I can relish in the joy they are experiencing in those moments…and I somehow feel as if I too have been invited into that special time. Not always a ‘daily newsfeed crawler’ I quickly developed a sense of GUILT if I ever missed a special announcement, or occasion, or failed to “like” a personal post or picture. (Yes, I’m a Catholic.) Then there have been the concerns, comments, & judgements if I didn’t click “like” or “follow” AND the reverse of both!! And so more time is spent, in an effort not to disappoint, than is needed.
All in a world that I get to “see” but am rarely engaged in. The exhaustion of it all….
At first I thought a quiet deactivation would work. Quietly take a break and then quietly re-enter when I’d renewed my brain-cells. (No one would notice, right???) Seemed like a good idea, until I tried it.
For the most part, it was a GREAT IDEA and it felt good for me not carrying the burden I’d self-imposed. But when I reactivated I’d discovered there was a very important unread message sent to my inbox. I felt crushed. I had let one of my ‘soldier-boys’ down. He needed prayer and I’d left him with only silence… (Hence, more catholic-guilt.)
After taking the time to reply back to my friend, to assure him of my commitment to pray for his special intention; I took some time for myself to ask, “How do I do this Lord?” “How do I develop a way to partake in the lives of those who desire to be in relationship with me and yet spend the time that is needed where You design as necessary.” And then I became silent.
“It is our one business, my brethren, to worship Him and love Him, without thought of anything else.” – Brother Lawerence
The Practice of the Presence of God, by Brother Lawerence a seventeenth-century French monk, helped me to hear God’s whisper, God’s answer to me. And I became still.
It was in that period of quiet examination when my God revealed that He too ached that I was not receiving all the messages He was leaving ME, in the same way I had ached discovering the unread message from my friend stationed far away. He used my friend’s ‘call for prayer’ to remind me it is prayer which is most important and that all prayer leads to Him. All of this has helped me to examine how neglectful I have been with the time I spend with my God, checking in with HIM, scrolling through the days & the moments that HE showcases to me. And it’s all right THERE, not only in a screen or on a smart phone but in the real life I’m living. The laughter of a conversation, or the holding of a hand, and even the difficulty of a tear wiped away.
“I must do everything and act in all matters now as I would like to do and act at the hour of my death. For this reason, in every action, I must be mindful of God.” Brother Lawerence
I need to be more mindful. I need to be more engaged in the tangible world more than the virtual. I need to be aware of my time spent in prayer, lived out and practiced.
Fully. Wholly. Holy.
And so I began my deactivation plan from Facebook! (Not from my family & friends!) I’m actually more excited now about the relationships I have than ever!! It’s too easy for me to just click & scroll. Just like it’s too easy for me to miss the many opportunities to receive those messages left to me by my loving God! Now I must make the effort to engage in life again!
Fully. Wholly. Holy.
In the past three weeks I have heard from so many people sharing phone numbers, email & snail-mail addresses. (I’ve connected lots of dots that were missing or not even in the puzzle!) I’ve made sure those far away have the information they need to contact me. And I am trusting God to put others in contact with me, who seek me out in the future, in very Divine ways!! (He’s pretty creative, you know. Just look at the Peacock!) I’ve encouraged people to send me their photos via text messages and email, as I still want to share in your joy! (Plus, see Abby’s latest nail fashion. *Side bar: Do we even develop photos anymore??) I promise too that I will try to keep up with this blog!! (I invite you to check back periodically for a visit!) My Facebook page is going away, but not me!
And lastly, I promise: I will always have a hug & a blessing to share with anyone who wishes to receive one. Given:
Fully! Wholly! Holy!
Hugs n’ Blessings,