So, how do you feel about the whole social media thing? Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, WhatsApp ... it’s a very long list. We can keep in touch with anyone and everyone. On the one hand, that’s a great thing; it’s amazing to be able to connect with friends and family who live on the other side of the world. However, the danger is that we can spend too much time doing only that. We connect – but nothing more.
The dictionary says that to ‘connect’ is to: Bring together or into contact so that a real or notional link is established. The problem is that too often our social media connections are more notional than real. Life is often so fast paced that we don’t have time for anything more than just connecting. When we haven’t got time to invest in people, the limit of our friendship can be checking Facebook each day and hitting like or maybe adding a short comment. The danger is that we fool ourselves into thinking that this is enough.
Equally, I sometimes wonder whether I can be in danger of having only a notional connection with God.
There are some great resources available for us to plug into – daily reading notes, the verse of the day, a thought for the day. However, there have been moments when I have been guilty of plugging into these things and then having read them (or more likely scanned them), immediately moving on with the day. Other times I have invested in longer daily quiet times but then sadly completed my day without really giving the challenges and promises another thought. I had ticked the box: Time with God.
I recently read this from the book “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young: ‘Make me your focal point as you move through this day. Just as a spinning ballerina must keep returning her eyes to a given point to maintain her balance, so you must keep returning your focus to Me’. If we don’t keep returning our focus to Jesus throughout the day, we will quickly find that even though we may pray and read the Bible each day, we are in danger of our relationship with Jesus being a notional connection rather than a real ‘all-day’ commitment.
I have been challenged by this recently. We spend a lot of time running everywhere, planning a million things in our minds, when what Jesus actually wants is for us to live each moment in him. The daily disciplines of prayer and Bible reading are good and we should find time for them, but like with our friendships we need more than just moments of connection. Jesus wants us to meet with him in every present moment. That is where he is. He wants us to be aware of his presence when we feel blessed, when we feel sadness, when we hurt, when we just feel empty. When we live in the present with Jesus we have so much more than just a connection with him. As we make this commitment to draw nearer to him, he promises to draw near to us.
This challenge continues for me. Connection isn’t enough – it’s time for me to live each moment in Jesus and not be drawn back into my tickbox way of living.