Although I’ve not been too terribly active on social media this summer, I’m preparing to power down for a few weeks.
Maybe you’ve done this before — and maybe you’ve just thought about it. But I find that if I don’t do this from time to time that I experience two different things:
- I tend to get too overly focused on my own words and thoughts and experiences, and therefore,
- I tend to make less of Jesus and more of myself.
I believe that there are a lot of potential benefits, as well as pitfalls, present for pastors and Christian leaders who take to social media for the sake of being salt and light in this digital space.
But I also believe that if we’re not regularly withdrawing from the noise of our iWorld, for the sake of being filled and re-oriented to our work and role in the places we’ve been called to, then we run the risk of losing our saltiness and capacity for transmitting light. We are more likely to lose our perspective — God’s perspective — on what is right and important and good. We position ourselves to be tools in the world instead of tools that God can use in the lives of others.
This quote from the late Dallas Willard helps me to see what’s really going on here.
[quote author=”The Spirit of the Disciplines, p. 163″]Our households and offices are filled with the whirring, buzzing, murmuring, chattering, and whining of the multiple contraptions that are supposed to make life easier. Their noise comforts us in some curious way. In fact, we find complete silence shocking because it leaves the impression that nothing is happening. In a go-go world such as ours, what could be worse that![/quote]
I want to be shocked by the silence!
I need to be reminded that just because I choose to slow down, catch my breath, and re-orient myself on God and his priorities, that life want come to a screeching halt.
God is God — and I am not.
I look forward to getting through the first couple of days, where in I am likely to feel some sort of strange loss or sense of disconnect, because I know that once I’ve endured my needed re-orientation, I’ll be better positioned to experience God and enjoy my family during the first few weeks of July, before re-engaging and preparing for another year of ministry with students.
I hope and pray that I never become a resounding gong or crashing cymbal in this digital space — or any other.
I may or may not post again before my digital sabbath officially begins on June 30th. Regardless, I plan to return on or after July 21st — hopefully with a renewed sense of purpose and vision for what I might offer in this hyper-connected world.