I guess we all have to start somewhere and this blog is no exception. It’s actually a great first post to start this blog with as the thought I’m gonna write down is what made me want to get on with all this.
It all started 3 days ago. The kids had just gone to bed and my husband was out for a run. I was laying down on the couch, thinking I should probably make the most out of this quiet time by myself to read my Bible and pray. Yet I started scrolling down my Facebook and Instagram feed.
We all know how this work, right? At first you are innocently scrolling and then this picture comes up and reminds you of someone or something. Now you’re caught and before you know it, here you are gazing at this perfect hairdo, this amazingly fit mother-of-two and now this feeling you know Oh so well starts to rise within you : You feel like crap.
To be true, in my case, I started looking at people-I-used-to-know profiles.
They’re the worst.
No, actually the worst are the people-I-know-of. Those I’ve never met, or only briefly, and sometimes pop-up on my news-feed, like this party-crasher you wished never knew your address.
They’re the worst because they have no flaws. The whole point of their profile seems to make you feel miserable. And it’s doing a pretty good job at it. Sometimes you admire them, but let’s be honest, most of the time you simply envy them.
‘What a waste of time’, I thought as I locked my phone and put it away. Husband was back from his run and it was time for me to hit the bed.
As I was laying down, I prayed. I like to hand the night to God, let Him watch over my dreams. I prayed He would talk to me in my dreams since I know that it’s something he has been doing repeatedly over the years, and I just love it.
I woke up a little disappointed (yes, I am going somewhere with this story) : I had the most meaningless dreams ever. Worse than that, I had one of these dreams where you are somehow in a world that mixes past and present. I hate those dreams! They make me feel so uncomfortable and confused.
I started to reflect on that and as I was doing so, God asked me : “What do you feed your mind?” reminding me of this painful Insta-session.
It’s so easy to get distracted, it’s so easy to dwell on (delete as appropriate) our past / other people’s lives and achievements / any meaningless thing we could find and that would keep us ‘busy’.
And I am not saying that God won’t want to speak to us because we have a Facebook account (Lord protect us), I’m talking about what is at the center of our thoughts. What we deliberately decide to gaze at.
Philippians 4:8 says : “Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly and proper. Do not ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise.
Is there, at some point, a contradiction between my hunger for God and my desire for Him to speak to me and the fact that I got carried away on social media when I had decided I wanted to spend that time with Him? I don’t really need to think too hard to conclude that there is a little inconsistency in the behavior here.
And I am also aware that this compulsive profile-checking is not 100% healthy : I don’t do it blatantly and would never bring that up in any conversation ever. Worse, I know it makes me feel miserable, jealous, worried, and very conscious of my so-called failures. Yet I could spend hours doing so. And I think we will probably address this topic several times through the posts to come.
I realise I can’t feed my mind and thoughts with comparisons, staring at other people’s lives, judging them or comparing myself and expect to get anything good out of it. I realise if I want God to take control over my thoughts, I need to leave room for Him to do so. I realise somewhere it’s my mindset that has to change.
What matters to me? What kind of fruits do I want to bear? Do I want to keep looking at and listening to lies (because, yes, that’s where it leads me to)? Do I want to care about what others have and I do not? Do I want to dwell in the past or in that hypothetical life I could have had?
Or is it time to shift my focus into something higher, something that would actually do good to me? Something that would speak Truth? Don’t I want to cherish that relationship I have and make it come first? Don’t I want the time I spend in the presence of God to become my priority?
If I keep looking left, how can I expect being able to see and grab what comes my way from the right?
Just to make this clear once more : Caring about other things, spending to much time involved in others things doesn’t make us unworthy of receiving anything from God. It’s not about God not wanting to engage with us (though let’s not forget that He is a jealous God). It’s about making ourselves available. It’s about tuning in. If we are listening to the wrong radio frequencies, how can we expect to be able to hear the program?