Today is Ash Wednesday. For those of you who are not from a church background today marks the beginning of the Lenten season. Lent is a season where the church takes the 40 days leading up to Easter to reflect on our brokenness and need for hope , a hope I believe is found only in Jesus.
Traditionally people give stuff up for Lent. You may have friends that are giving up alcohol, or chocolate. I have done things like this in the past. Normally, it was for some physical improvement, like losing weight or trying to be healthier “in the name of Jesus.” This is not a bad thing., but I believe this season can be much deeper.
As of the past few years I have heard of people “giving up” social media during this season. My first response was, “that is stupid.” But then I gave it a little more thought and realized that the thought of turning off Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for over a month scared the hell out of me. At that point I realized that I am way to dependent on social media. It is the last thing I check before I go to bed and the first thing I look at when I get up. If I have one second of down time I grab my phone and see “what I have missed.” It has consumed me.
Social media is my idol and I need to kill it. I look to it for gratification and validation. Did anyone retweet me? Did, anyone like my FB status? Did I miss an important link to a cool article? It has also given me a false view of myself. I am not as important as I think and the words I tweet are not as important or as weighty as I think they are. My opinion doesn’t mean jack. All of these things aren’t wrong in themselves, but for me I found that they have consumed my thoughts and heart more than Jesus. And that is wrong. Social media can be a great tool. But it can also, just like any good thing, become a God thing. And I confess it has become a God thing in my life.
So, why write this blog to announce that I will be going offline? If I am honest it is probably deep down it is out of some people pleasing, attention seeking agenda. Part of it is that a lot of my job is connecting with people and a lot of people do it via social media. So, if you need to get in touch with between now and Easter, please email me at Anthony.celia529atgmaildotcom.
I often encourage people that while they take away something during Lent, to fill that time up with something that is going to grow them in their relationship with Jesus. So, I am excited to see how I can use this time to reconnect and dream with Jesus. I am excited to see how Jesus can show me how to truly be a human.
I am sure that social media will still be here in 40 days.