Monday, April 21, 2014

What I Learned

So, Lent is over and I'm kind of back to social media. I've been thinking a lot about what I learned during my fast, I think Brother Brueggemann describes it best in his prayer Ourselves at the Center. His words best describe where my heart was when I started this fast and how I changed along the way. Without further ado, the prayer:

Ourselves at the Center
(Walter Bruggemann, Prayers for a Privileged People)

We are your people,
mostly privileged
Your people who make futures for ourselves,
seize opportunities,
get the job done
and move on.
In our self-confidence, we expect little
beyond our productivity;
we wait little for
that which lies beyond us,
and then settle with ourselves
at the center.
And you, you in the midst of our privilege,
our competence
our entitlement.
You utter large deep oaths
beyond our imagined futures.
You say – fear not, I am with you.
You say – nothing shall separate us.
You say – something of new heaven and new earth.
You say – you are mine; I have called you by name.
You say – my faithfulness will show concretely and will abide.
And we find our privilege eroded by your purpose,
our competence shaken by your future,
our entitlement unsettled by your other children.
Give us grace to hear your promises.
Give us freedom to trust your promises.
Give us patience to wait and
humility to yield our dreamed future
to your large purpose.
We pray in the name of Jesus who
is your deep yes over our lives.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Almost There

It's almost Palm Sunday, almost Holy Week, and almost Easter. Which means in a little over a week, Lent will draw to an end. When I gave up social media for Lent, I knew it would draw comments from people that it's not that big of a deal. On the surface, it's kind of a shallow thing to give up for Lent.

But here's the thing. It really is a big deal. Think about it. Think about why you use social media. Not on the surface, like keeping up with family or friends. But emotionally, what's your tie? I never really saw myself as someone needing affirmation. I've always felt pretty sure of myself, I never thought I needed someone to validate that I exist. But then I decided to spend 40 days cut off from on-line friends. Which may not seem like a big deal, but I'm by myself at least 15 days out of the month with Jeremy's work schedule. You try spending time alone, with no outlet to distract you from yourself. It's not fun. It's very lonely. And you'd think that perhaps during this time of loneliness that I would pray, or read my Bible, or just read. Instead, I think I've watched approximately 100 episodes of Supernatural. But you know, at least I've recognized that it is lonely being alone.

On the flip side of the loneliness, I did discover that while I miss the interaction with folks, that also I don't miss it.  When I first started using Twitter (seven years ago, when it was just a baby), I was in a really rough marriage. The folks on Twitter became my friends, my sounding boards, the place where I went when I needed to escape. Now that I am incredibly happily married, I don't really need it anymore (except of course when I actually do need it). I made actual friends on Twitter. People that I know in real life, and people that I actually spend time with. It's nice being affirmed but it's also nice being known by people. I've done a pretty good job of keeping in touch with my friends whilst being away from social media, but also, I've also seemed to turn into more a hermit, which really exacerbates the whole loneliness part.

So basically, in the past almost forty days I've felt all the emotions. I'd say that I'm really ready for this to be over, but I don't know that I've done enough work for it to be over. This next week, during Holy Week, I intend to stop all my tv watching and do some real work. I'm sure there's much more to learn from this time.