Friday, February 28, 2014

Sacred Moments

"But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." Luke 2:19

This undiscovered gem is tucked away in the Bible after Jesus was born. The shepherds came and worshiped. Everyone was talking about what had happened, about the angels and star and the baby born in a stable.

But Mary, the one who had actually been a key player in these events, the one who probably had the most to say, kept them in her heart. 

In an age where our whole lives seem to be splayed open for the world to see, I wonder if there is more that we should keep sacred. 

It's not to say that we cannot share parts of our lives on social media. Or that we cannot share joy. But often I will read something on social media about a relationship that I wonder if it should have ever been posted. I find myself wanting to close the door to their inner lives; ask them to close the blinds. 

There are sacred moments in life. Times with husband or children or family. Meaningful conversations with friends. Do we really want to invite the world at large to peer into our most sacred moments, our most intimate conversations and hearts? 

Personally, I do not. In the past, I have been guilty of over-sharing intimate details that, while perhaps not embarrassing or gross, still ought to have constituted as private. 

It's one thing to share a beautiful, sacred moment with friends in person, and quite another to upload it to your social media outlet of choice, thereby handing anyone with an internet connection the keys to your soul.

This picture from the National Geographic photo galleries (Photo taken by David Doublet) reminds me of what it feels like to put your opinions online - surrounded by a school of barracuda.

Restraint may not be for you. You may be completely comfortable with sharing your life online. But this flinging wide the doors of my heart for all to see is an area of life in which I have been convicted. While I want to be more honest with people, I also want to strengthen my filter. There are some things that are meant to stay between the people who were there. 

Related to this is the phenomenon that we don't seem to be able to process information anymore. We'll spit a question or observation into the world wide web and chatter back and forth. But how often do we consider it in our minds? 

We have lost the discipline of pondering, I think.

We think in soundbytes or statuses or tweets. How often do we turn over an issue in our own minds or hearts? How often do we seek out one or two people to discuss a matter with at a time, at length, as opposed to opening up a world wide forum?

In person, it's easier to be on the fence about an issue; to weigh it in our minds and consider angles and implications. But it seems that online, we've got to passionately put a stake in the ground. We have to draw a line on every issue. Everything turns into a battle because for the first time in the history of the world, anyone in the world can and does voice their noisy opinions. At a point, this ceases to become a sharing of opinions and crosses the line into becoming cacophony.

Connection is not bad. It is an incredible thing that we are able to connect instantly with people across the globe and it has, overall, opened up the discussion to opinions and thoughts previously unavailable to us. It has widened the conversation. It allows us to connect with loved ones in ways previously unfathomable. I should say that this is overall a good thing. 

But where is the balance? At what point are we bowing down the god of information and research? We have information like at our fingertips like never before.

I'm arguing that this is not as good as some people think.

Because we have become more like conduits for information, rather than consumers and digesters. The quantity and quality of online information can be overwhelming and unhealthy. We jump from one article to the next, always seeking more. More information. More research. More opinions. More tips. More tricks. More articles. But when do we ever pause to consider what we've learned? When was the last time you considered and applied something that you read online?

This phenomenon has contributed to a good deal of over-thinking and even anxiety in my life. And yes, this may just be me. But I have a suspicion that if more people stopped and thought about it, they might realize that they too have suffered ill effects from this overstimulated race to consume more facts.

Facts are dead and bare. They are naked. Without context, facts are useless. Without wisdom, knowledge is dangerous and empty. 

Perhaps before we pose a question to the world, we ought to consider and digest it ourselves before spouting off an answer and shooting from the hip.

{Will you join me in pausing and considering sacred moments truly sacred? Will you join me in seeking context and wisdom and not just empty facts?}

No comments:

Post a Comment