When we start to succeed at taking the focus off of ourselves, then we often find a need to connect with others. You will even discover that you have a lot more time on your hands...no more checking your Facebook status every fifteen minutes to see how many "likes" you've gotten. Ahem..
I gave up Facebook for forty days. I don't share that to brag but to let you know initially how hard it was. I have been addicted to many things in my lifetime and that one just about had me beat. By week two, I was so sick of people asking, "Didn't you see that on Facebook?" And then I discovered that I missed hearing about a dear friend who had passed away and that about broke me. By week four I hardly missed it at all. Suddenly, my house was cleaner. My kids had all of my attention. I had connected - or rather reconnected- with my real life.
Social media has it's place! I love me some Pinterest. The interweb is an amazing tool - but it does not replace human interaction.
God created us to be social beings. To live in communion with each other.
Been to a restaurant lately? What do you see? People talking animatedly to each other? Nope. Looking down at their phones. One of these days, I'm gonna stand right up in the booth and yell, "What in the blazes is wrong with you people?!?!" (You can come visit me on the fifth floor after that.)
If we are made in God's image and God made woman to be a partner to man and to supernaturally connect through sex in marriage
"That is why a man leaves his father and mother
and is united to his wife,
and they become one flesh."
then what happens when we disconnect from reality? When we push God away or try to file Him in a glass case labeled "break in case of emergency"? When we sit at the table at dinner time and stare at our screen - scrolling though statuses...what does that have to do with right here, right now?
Let's take a little pop quiz here. Answer honestly. Examine your heart and face the real truth.
- Have you ever yelled at your babies when you were trying to type a reply on Facebook?
- Have you ever looked at the time and realized that you just spent over and hour on your phone and now it's bedtime and they haven't had baths and there are no clean clothes and no one gets a story read and homework hasn't been touched?
- Have you ever gotten jealous or angry at a post?
Let me just confess that I can answer "yes" to each of these questions.
Jesus tells us that whenever two or three are gathered in His Name there He is also. (Matthew 18:20)
This "In My Name" literally translates "into my name" - as in connecting and yearning for union.
Are you yearning to connect with your spouse? Are you desperate for a real friend? Do you want to be a better parent?
I promise you this. Take the focus off yourself for one day. Just one day. Purposefully connect with someone. Make a phone call. Invite someone to coffee. Read a book to your babies. Sit on the bathroom floor while they are taking their baths and play with them again. You can't do that if you have a phone or tablet in your hands. Turn off the TV. Find out what quiet feels like again.
Here is how my life has changed now that I have reconnected with real-live people:
- I have a best friend who calls me nearly every single morning. We pray together, praise together and encourage each other.
- I have another best friend who I can call anytime and share what's on my heart and get honest feedback. And giggle. Giggling is good for the soul.
- I use over 1,400 minutes on my phone each month because I call and don't text as much.
- I know who my children's friends are. I know that they had a rough time in class or how much they like a teacher or friend.
- I don't just say, "I'm praying for you." I stop right there and pray.
- I can tell right away when I have disengaged from reality and retreated to friend stalking on FB. I get irritable and nobody wants to be around me. Don't be that girl.
Don't you long for this too? You weren't made to be alone, my friend. Be brave. Step out in boldness and take back your life. Thee Life that God has given you. Enjoy it.