How I miss the days before social media. I feel that I need to insert an obligatory ‘yes, it is a great way to keep in touch with people and it has other benefits and I am probably not going to delete my accounts’. The very fact that I am able to share this blog post on social media is a good thing, right? However, I find myself longing to live in a culture where people are not always glued to their phones.
I started blogging with good intentions but I find I frequently need to remind myself what these are. In an age where likes, shares and comments are king, I have to keep saying ‘No, I serve King Jesus.’ When the perfect photos of meals, family life and well-hoovered carpets clutter my Instagram, I have to tell myself ‘life isn’t perfect and that’s OK’. I am living in an imperfect world in awe of a perfect Saviour who has breathed new life into my heart and who loves me with a perfect love because He is love.
One Sunday I sat in a different seat in church. It’s funny how people tend to flock to the same spaces. To be honest, it was a packed Sunday service due to a baptism and there weren’t many seats left – I was running late too. I ended up on the right hand side, I could just about see and didn’t need to crane my neck around a pillar – winning.
The sermon was good – it was on Revelation 3. And I was listening. Really. But my eyes were looking at bits of the church I hadn’t appreciated before. I surveyed the stained glass windows made up of beautiful colours. I looked at the curate, then the speakers attached to the stone pillars and thought that there would have been a time when the preacher would have had to project his voice a bit harder. However, what caught my attention for some strange reason was a large crack in the wall. Trust me to fix on the bit that was broken.
I do that a lot. I fixate on the broken bits in my life. I walk and talk like I am shackled and struggling to walk, rather than living in the victory of redemption. I need to start seeing myself as God sees me. I definitely need to stop comparing my brokenness with the perfection, colour and beauty on Instagram and Facebook; they are virtual stained glass windows that do not truthfully depict the often stained, messy and discoloured reality of the lives that make the final cut on the screen.
This post is really me reminding myself to take my eyes off myself. To lift my eyes up from my phone and not get sucked into photos that I could read too much into or obsess over. This isn’t a rant about other people and their use of social media. What I have to say is just a drop in the ocean. This is my heart and my issue as I long to give God the best use of my time, not my sloppy seconds. It is a longing to grow into a closer relationship with Christ that compels me to evaluate where my gaze is. Am I looking at the world like Snapchat, which is here for a few moments before disappearing? Or am I looking towards my Saviour who is calling me to Himself with all of my brokenness and brings healing and eternal life?
As I was reading Isaiah 43 this morning, I was encouraged by God’s words to His people. Through Jesus, we are now all grafted into this same promise when we trust in Christ’s saving work on the cross. What a promise to fix my eyes on today and every day.
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name; you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1