“Seek first the kingdom of God, and He will give you all you need.” Matthew 6:33
A few months ago, I wrote about the phone addiction I witnessed while in line at Starbucks. At that time I disconnected from the constant need to keep scrolling through endless updates, and navigate my day with my nose buried in my mobile device.
And, I was doing pretty good. I had finally resisted the urge to spew every one of my wayward thoughts on-line for all my “friends” to see. I was pretty sure that my hiatus from constant status updates, email checks, and tweets had its impact. I now had the strength and willpower to let all the negativity that clogged my newsfeed go. I had learned to run to God with my problems instead of Facebook.
I think it’s OK to download again, I said.
I can limit myself, I said.
I can make sure the negative things I see don’t affect me. I am sure they won’t alter the way I see and love people, I said.
I was wrong. Boy, was I wrong.
The realization that I was once again turning to all my “friends” again wasn’t in any way earth shattering. It all began with what almost became a simple “I’m feeling sorry for myself, and I’m all alone” status.
Until that voice said to me: “January, what are you doing? Do you really want to go there again? I’m here. Talk to me.”
In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. Jeremiah 29:12
If I call on my greatest friend, he will listen. But, I had stopped calling on Him lately. Instead, I was relying on every “like,” and comment of agreement to confirm that I wasn’t alone. That someone else was listening. However, with every comment, I realized…I was still alone. There are still some things all my “friends” just couldn’t possibly understand.
The truth is, I wish I could say I only had that one moment of Facebook weakness, but that’s not the case.
See, I had quickly gone back to the mindless scroll, refresh, scroll, refresh throughout my day just as quickly as I had deleted the whole mess in the first place. Until I had spent more time on the couch scrolling and refreshing than playing and engaging with my kids.
Until I began the frequent eye-rolling at posts that quickly turned to judgment and condemnation. The judgment and condemnation which is so unlike the example I am supposed to be of Christ.
Until my days were filled with gruesome, negative, and cruel news stories again, and nothing at all to lift my spirits.
Until I once again began my morning reading Facebook posts, and not my Bible.
Until I started telling all my “friends” about my problems, and not once talking to God.
I had done it again.
I certainly wasn’t practicing what I had preached months ago.
And, I had once again sunk into a wave of negativity, judgment, and whoa-is-meing that was not at all becoming.
Don’t even think about it; don’t go that way. Turn away and keep moving. Proverbs 4:15
This is not to say that Facebook is an evil thing that must be avoided at all costs. There are some inspiring posts and stories out there. Friends I follow just for this reason. I have family, former co-workers, and high school classmates that I enjoy catching up with, and then other “friends” whose witty posts give me a much needed laugh. And, who can enjoy a football game without a little friendly rivalry?
But, honestly…for me? The constant scroll, refresh, scroll, refresh is a trigger for me. A trigger for my insecurities. A trigger for my past to come back to haunt me. A trigger for my often critical view of the world and people, and one more reason for me to say that I don’t have time for God.
One more reason for me to think I am all alone. That all my “friends” don’t care, don’t understand, don’t get what I go through day in and day out, don’t….whatever. When really the friends that do care, are saved in my phone contact list. The ones whose emails, kids’ names, addresses, and hidden insecurities I actually do know. The ones who I can actually call, say “I miss you. I need you right now. I feel alone and I’m having a crummy day,” and know they will come running to first sulk with me, and then tell me to suck it up, because we all have those days.
And, then there is that other “friend.” The one who has no Facebook or Twitter account, yet knows exactly when I’m alone and need support-whether its 11 at night or at 4 in the morning. The friend I have in Him. The comfort and peace I can find in Him to which no scrolling and refreshing, or hundreds and hundreds of social media “friends” could ever compare.
What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.