I learned something this week.
It was Saturday morning. Josh sat at the kitchen table, working on a guitar. The kids milled around and “helped.”
Josh turned to C, still in his jammies and fuzzy-headed like little boys are just after they wake and said, “Christian, go out the shop and get Daddy’s red-handled pliers.”
I’m not sure if I scolded him, but I wanted to. The child is two, for pete’s sake.
Expecting him to put his shoes on, open the back door, walk to the shed, open the shed door, rummage around in Josh’s tools until he found what he thought was pliers and before he got distracted by a saw or ax or something equally as dangerous and return to the house without some appendages missing was asking a bit much, in my humble opinion.
But C, up to the challenge and suddenly so obedient, found his shoes and (under my watchful eye) sauntered out to the shed like only he can saunter. Less than 30 seconds later he returned, the correct pliers in hand and all limbs intact.
This is the kid who still insists on pooping in his pants.
I was shocked.
Even two-year-olds have priorities.
I have learned something about myself too.
I say I want to know God more. I say I want to treasure Christ above all else. I say I want to look like Jesus to the world around me. I say (and type) a lot.
But does the way I spend my time reflect something else altogether? Let’s evaluate, shall we?
When I’m bored, I usually turn to Facebook. (Or candy, but that’s another blog post.)
When I’m anxious, I check my e-mail.
When I’m feeling lonesome, I might scroll through Instagram.
When I need to be filled with something, these are an easy go-to.
Then it hit me. The moments of my life I have spent on social media are quickly adding up. And what will their sum total be?
And so an experiment began.
John 12:42-43 tells us that there were leaders in Jesus’ day who believed in him. They knew that he was God walking among them. They shared his steps and shopped at the same markets and could wave across the street at him. They could talk to him. In person. They could sit at his feet and hear the wisdom firsthand that we study from ancient scrolls today.
The Word tells us that they would not confess their faith publicly “for they loved praise from men more than praise from God.”
They had the opportunity to be right there with Jesus. In the moment. With God. In the flesh. Physically present with the Almighty.
But they missed it.
They were distracted. They wasted their time caring about what someone else thought of them. Their priorities were badly skewed, and they ended up missing their chance to know Jesus.
What a terrible, terrible shame.
For a few weeks, I logged off all social media almost entirely. Except to, you know, post this blog. (Priorities, right?!?)
I determined that when I had few extra minutes in my day while I waited for the water to come to a boil or the kids were quiet and not underfoot (aka destroying something not in my immediate vicinity), I would turn to the Bible instead.
(Admittedly, it wasn’t an easy practice. And please don’t think I’m some super-Christian who never entertains herself or who doesn’t enjoy the occasional mindless scroll through status updates. I do. And there’s nothing wrong with staying connected through means like these.)
But when I come to the end of these days at home, or with my kids, or in this house or on this planet, will I wish that I had spent more time on Facebook?
Or will I wish that I had spent more time with Jesus?
Will I regret the unseen status updates or the untold blessings of knowing the Creator God?
When I look back, what will I see?
Was Jesus my highest aim?
Or did I miss knowing him while I walked this earth?
What a shame that would be.
I eventually did check Facebook. I spent 15 or so minutes scrolling through the posts I hadn’t seen during my time away. I turned it off.
You know what I realized?
I had missed nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Care to take up the challenge?
Replace your mindless moments on the computer (or in front of the TV or on the phone) with something you’ll never regret. I promise. You won’t.
Try it, and let me know what you think.
It’s all priorities, you know?
(‘Cause two-year-olds aren’t the only ones who get them out of order.)
Let’s not miss Jesus, friends.
What a shame that would be.
Great words Hannah:) It’s so easy to do mindless stuff. You make it your friend instead of the important things in life.
And sometimes mindless is okay, I admit. How else would we justify our love of Downton?? Just as long as it doesn’t consume…
That shop looks very tidy!
Yes, it does. Considering what it has looked like in the past (and will, I suspect, look like in the very near future.)
Ps. The red handled pliers are directly below the spaghetti tangle of extension chords.
This was very well put. Also my first read of your blog, but I will absolutely be back for more. I have felt that exact thing, knowing in the moment of scrolling that my time would be better spend connecting to my father instead. I also used to turn to the silly phone games that are ridiculously addictive. I finally, maybe 3 weeks ago, STOPPED the game madness, and its like I magically have all this time now. It’s wonderful.
I also had a realization one day, while scrolling through Facebook and reading post after post about hard days, sickness, work stress, momma stress, that I could use it as a tool. I can press “like”, leave a comment, or even feel better about my day: at least it’s not THAT bad. OR… I can pray for these people who I publicly call my friends. I can lift their troubles to my father, and let myself deeply feel for them in their pain, or even be thankful in their joy. You’re right, it’s not a bad way to connect, and you’re also right that it can be a time waster. Like so many other things in this crazy world, it’s all about perspective and focusing on what’s truly important!
Gina, I’m so glad you found me and that you were able to relate. This stuff is hard to admit, but it makes it so much easier when I know that others understand the feeling.
That is a FANTASTIC idea to pray as you are scrolling through status updates. I admit that most of the time I pass over things so quickly it doesn’t even register to pray (unless they specifically ask for it.) But what a great practice to pray for those who haven’t even asked and aren’t expecting it! THAT is a true Facebook “Friend.”
Thank you for reading and commenting. Let’s stay in touch!
I know Josh is being sarcastic, but, ummm the shop really does look tidy to me. Never come to my house, Hannah. You will think you’ve entered a third-world country where the goats and the pigs sleep in the house with the people.
But I didn’t see the red-handled pliers. I saw the red-handled wire cutters–I think. And I wondered why a person needed several pairs of wire cutters with different colored handles. But… in my shop (AKA the shelves in my living room) there are several of each tool, and that’s because I lose them always, under the clutter, and have to buy more. It’s horrible.
I suppose you could draw a spiritual lesson from that, too, Hannah.
Love this post about spending time in the word, rather than on social media. How many hours I have wasted when I could have been sitting at Jesus’s feet and gaining wisdom? We have easy access to words written to us by the God who created the cosmos and the human eye and we ignore those words in favor of sensational TV news or cute kitty videos.
We are truly a perverse people.
Technically, the shop is very tidy, compared to what it’s looked like in the past. Josh deserves some credit for leaving it in respectable enough condition that I felt okay about photographing it and showing it to all the world.
And, in your defense, I read a quote recently that said, “A tidy house is evidence of a mis-spent life.” So good for you. Not so good for me.
But tidiness makes me happy. Sigh. What’s a girl to do??
Hannah, back in the fall you issued a similar challenge that really…not to use “Christianese” but CONVICTED me to the core. I appreciate your challenges to do a “self check” on the social media issue. It can quickly crawl upon the altar of our lives and become a sort of narcissistic form of self worship–how many likes did I get…how many “friends” (Heavy on the quotes there!) do I have…blah, blah.
Keep those meddling challenges coming, Hannah! I, for one, am benefitting and have cut my social media time WAY, WAY BACK.
Hugs to you and your lovelies!
I appreciate you taking it so well, Karen. These are not fun things to “check” ourselves on. However, I find if I don’t, I QUICKLY get out of control. It’s just too easy to slide back into old habits.
Thanks for commenting and reminding me of that old post. See? It only too about one season go (almost) right back where I was. Goodness. I am a mess.
Ha! I so wish that I had a picture of our shop to show you…but those boys know EXACTLY where everything is (or just about). It makes my OCDness shiver to walk in there. Hence, I don’t spend too much time out there. 🙂
Great post! While I spend way too much time scrolling, I’ve never been one that the phone is another appendage. Now the tv…that’s a different story.
I know, I know. These boys and their shops…Yikes.
I like to think I don’t struggle with addictive tendencies, but if it’s not Facebook, it would be something else with me. And it WILL be something else if I don’t keep myself in check.
Thanks for understanding. It’s good to know I’m not alone. 😉