Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Have you even noticed I'm not around?


 
There is a kind of forlornness to this picture that captures my heart in a profound way. His loneliness is a palatable and tangible reality that sirs the strings of my heart, making me want to sit beside him and lay my head on his shoulder in complete silence. I just want to be a tangible and living human being, sharing his silent pain.

Can you see the stark shadow in his heart that is searching for someone to notice? To find someone who will stop long enough to notice that he’s alive and he’s a real, breathing part of humanity.



Photo by: Leroy Skalstad; www.mediamax.com
 


A couple of months ago I was voted Blogger of the month on the Christian Blogger circles, mostly in part because I have tried to be an encouragement to others. I try to interact on a personal level so that when you close your browser you feel as if you met an old friend.

I was deeply honored to have received such an award and was deeply touched that it seemed that yes, I was making a difference somehow. Oh maybe not with my blog writings or postings, but I was making a difference in the hearts of God’s people. This has always been my passion even from my youth, to be an encouragement to others and I felt I was succeeding.

I guess I could have cruised on and basked in the glory of it all, except I begin to notice a trend that has really disturbed me lately.

What I’ve noticed is this; I have not blogged in a long time for several reasons. One I am trying to throw an anniversary party for my parents 50th wedding anniversary and that has been time consuming. Second, between Boy Scouts & Band the rest of my time has been swallowed whole.

I do however read post daily that have been written. It seems that we have a trend across the circles and other social media networks, that if you are bombarding the sight regularly, you have more comments and likes, +pluses or whatever. While this is not a bad thing, I wonder if it is really all that good.

It has seemed to become more like reality TV in the fact that as long as I’m being bombarded I am popular. As if my popularity is tied to my reality.

I feel as if somehow the cosmic reality that’s tied to immediate reality really is one and the same, at least in my own mind. My level of interest in you is inherently tied to your level of interest in me. With the exception that the more I interact with you about your interest, the more you feel a connection with me and I with you.

Basically you know me only for what I say consistently, rather than effectively.

I was thinking about Christ today and the profound relief of the religious leaders of the day when they thought they had finally come to the end of this Jesus dude. The moment they had blissfully waited for was finally here, the blasphemer in their eyes had received his just reward, so they thought. Did you ever notice Jesus slipped out quietly, with the exception of being seen by about 500 or so people, by and large they never knew He left them

Can you imagine if Jesus came to social media what He would say and how it would be received? There came a point in His ministry that He questioned His faithful about leaving Him as well.

We live in this sort of bubble where the importance of our lives is so much greater, well, in our own eyes than what it is in reality. The impact we think we are having on the world around us is similar to the rise and fall of reality TV. If I'm top of the heap, I'm on top of God's blessing chain, right? After all that worked for Jesus, right? I would almost guarantee you the ones who remembered Christ the most are the very ones who did little more than just hang out with Him.
You say; well what about the blind man or the lame man, don't you think they remembered Him best? I don't know for sure, but we see those kinds of things today and people rarely stick to the heart of God in it. Yet, I would be willing to bet the woman at the well, the widow with the mite or the woman thrown at His feet never forgot.
I'm trying to get you to see that your level of popularity is in no way tied to your effectiveness for God. We quote the scriptures; "seek ye first" then we troll the Internet trying to get people to listen to us. How sad is that? How effective for God is that?

I haven’t been on social media much. I’ve read blogs and have even posted on a few, but I must confess that I’m kind of disillusioned with it all really. Some of you know my name simply because I commented in the past quite regularly on your stuff. In all my time on Social media I have met two true friends that I chat with regularly and even those two haven't seen me much lately, for which I'm sorry for.

I have gone quite for a reason; if nothing more than to prove my own heart and search it out to see what my own true motivation is for being on social media, and in turn hope  against hope that I was wrong about what I see in social networking altogether.

I was hoping that I would find that yes; people are building lasting connections that move beyond five minute interactions each day. That we were connecting as a body of Christ, our hearts becoming knit with His word in us.

Sadly I have not found that to be the case at all for the most part. If you don’t post on any sight at least once daily, in two days tops you are quite forgotten.

So I ask you a really important question and your answer is between you & God. I don’t have any desire to know it whatsoever.

If you are a “”Christian” blogger; what motivated you to blog in the first place?

1)     To gain notoriety?

2)     To spread the gospel?

3)     To connect with people of like minded faith?

Then if your answer is what I think you started out for, when is the last you reached out and encouraged someone who hasn’t blogged in a while? I could name several who have been absent of late that maybe you could have reached out to? I am preaching to the choir to be sure.

We have the opportunity and privilege to be able to connect with people around the world, sharing the love of God, but He won’t allow you to prosper at His expense. I encourage you to examine your motives for being on social media, and challenge yourself not just to be heard, but to be zealous to know those who labor among you. Make lasting connections that mean something. Don't always strive to be the voice that is always heard. Don't be a Martha wannabe, do the opposite of what everyone else is doing and be Mary. Serve the Lord first with gladness and then exhort the saints around you. Win souls for God, make disciples for Jesus, not followers of you but of Christ.

On some levels I connect with this precious soul whose picture is in this blog. All too often I have been stranded on the side of the road with people zooming right by me as if I were a ghost. Treated as if I'm nothing more than as figment of someone’s imagination.

I encourage you to reach out to someone who you miss? Drop them a line and let them know that you’re thinking about them. You never know what that person is going through. You never know what God has in store for you!

It is more blessed to give than receive…

 

I’m hid with Christ!

Shawn