Stuck In My Mind
I think that slogan was once a car’s commercial theme song. I can hear it in the back of my mind as I wright this. But maybe that’s the point of what I’m about to share.
Our society has been commercially inundated for decades. We’re driven by media, movies and myth. Escaping into fantasy has become our normal life. Living vicariously through our favorite actors, athletes and television personalities has kinda taken the place of being the individual we were meant to be.
I watch personality studies where researchers ask people to identify who they are. No, not name, rank and serial number, but who they are as an individual. Maybe their family history, ethnic origins, generations beyond grandparents, key personality characteristics and other self-known factors that make us generally who we are.
As I know you can guess the outcome, they have no clue. BUT, once asked about a celebrity, athlete or social media influencer, the same subjects came alive with excitement as they easily rattled off movies made, points per game, and social platform viral likes.
Your Kid’s GPA?
This isn’t to be insulting, because I’m just as guilty about enjoying a chat with the kids about the latest action-thriller blockbuster than I am about their social science project.
I’ve long realized that we’ve stuck our own necks into the social media trap, and now that it’s clamped down like iron teeth on a bear’s paw, there’s no thrashing about to break loose.
I’m in the habit of taking my cell with me to the bathroom. Yeah, gross I know, but you’re doing it too. I mean seriously, what if someone sends a text or likes your latest Facebook post? I’ve tried to kick the habit without success, so I just shrugged it off. That doesn’t make it right, but now we have the prompt to change everything.
Isn’t it amazing that the very things we clung to as markers of living an informed life such as celebrities, athletes and influencers have immediately vanished, yet no one has barely noticed?
You know what we’ve actually noticed instead? Our spouse and our kids! Imagine that, we have actual real-life people living in the very same place where we used to glare at the sports channels and streaming movies around the clock. When did they get here?
This isn’t a beat down on social media. They only create it, we’re the ones who have chosen to skip the gym to consume it. So take this time to shift the way you engage in social media. Stop following the fake and instead keep only the connections of people you actually know or have gotten to know through engagements.
Maxing out your FB friends list at 5,000 doesn’t show you’re popular. It only shows that you are undiscerning about the people you share your life events with. Set your personal FB feed to Friends Only and you not only make the quality of who you are more valuable through exclusivity, but you tell those who trust to engage with you that they are protected as well.
Oh yeah, and stop posting those warnings about cutting friends from your list and if they want to make the cut they have to do something to remain. That’s just rude and always an automatic block whether I was meant to go or not. And while we’re at it, don’t congratulate those who made the cut. It’s not cheerleader tryouts or access to heaven. Unfriend unhealthy connections quietly. They nor you will even notice.
Not only is cray-cray Hollywood shut down, but so are the bars, nightclubs and strip joints. I’m not a puritan and not celebrating the loss of anyone’s employment, but places like these have caused so much personal and social destruction. How do I know? My first full night away from home as a 15-year-old was spent in an old dive bar, and many thereafter. It was God’s grace that saved me years later, but so much damage done until then.
I also worked undercover for 12 years during my 25 year law enforcement career and know the horrors behind the scenes of strip clubs. Human sex trafficking isn’t about glittering bodies spinning around a shiney pole. And for the people addicted to the flesh and pornography, the results of frequenting the clubs are also devastating.
Hurting and captive people are seeking an anchor. Without our faithfulness in sharing God’s love, the wounded will find another vice to cling to. Many of us know and or related to people in crisis. Maybe we’ve avoided them just because, but this isn’t the time to leave anyone behind.
Quite possibly, you don’t know anyone in need, so now is your chance to spend some positive research time on the web to seek out churches and ministries who serve a forgotten population. It’s easy to shelter in place and ride out the storm, but after over 25 years serving others in the middle of storms, I can tell you that it was much more satisfying than hiding inside.
So what does this mean? Instead of bemoaning the boredom of having to stay at home in self-quarantine, how about we scratch off a few things you can set in motion right this moment. Establish a relationship or reconnect with:
People in need.
Special projects: shelters, homeless missions, hospitals, social services.
Healthy social media relationships.
People you only assume or okay.
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