Wednesday, June 3, 2015

on waking up to live

It is hard to get tough with something you are so close to, no?
Hard to claim the need for refinement in an area of your life.
Revival, even.

Because this one life is too precious to not be focused on what bears fruit.
And revival doesn't come about through walking in the same manner. It starts out as a spark that requires a response. A response to say: I surrender this. Now, please move Holy Spirit.

And I have seen the internet bear fruit. I have watched relationships that I have made on social media bear fruit. Women that pray for me. Women that I pray for. Women I do life with. Causes I have backed. I have lived it out as real as every day life. How meaningful and life changing that is. God has certainly used it for good. And He is certainly using the internet and social media for good in so many others lives.

But I have lost sight of the pruning that needs to be done in spite of the growth.
I have missed the areas in which there is more addiction than good for me.
I have neglected to set boundaries until there is a blurring of lines.

Oh, how I wish I could say my every day mundane habits online or on my smartphone were life giving or gospel focused.
Instead, I often feel like I have absorbed information until I can not anymore.
I have zoned out too often. Numbed myself too much. Neglected prayer. Forgotten emotion.
And left being present.

 I want to, I need to, be present for this life instead of living it vicariously online.

There should not be a sense about me or about you that we are not truly living or that a moment lacks worth, preciousness, or validation because it is not documented online in some form.

We don't need validation from the internet to live and to live well.

And living well is not on the other end of a "like" symbol whether it be a heart or a thumbs up.

Our tastes and voice are not deemed worthy or excellent by a re-pin or a retweet.

And followers do not determine the depth of your words.

You see, you and I all have a precious God-given life even before we decided to share it.
And sometimes I fear that I am placing too much value on sharing the moments, my opinions, my life, my preferences, my style-----instead of just living it out to God's glory.
Outside of the web and all of its space.

Have I forgotten how to live without telling people on the other side of the screen: "hey! I am really living over here!"

Because the internet and social media should not be standing in for face to face community.

And it shouldn't be replacing communion with our husbands and wives.

And our children should know we are present and there because we are.
Someday they will grow and not be here anymore.
And Eden is not going to care about how many followers I had while she was doing that growing.

Time online shouldn't be canceling out dinners or the conversations held around them.
And it shouldn't be the reason we miss going outside in the summer evenings to run through grass and take in sunsets and swim in deep lakes.

It shouldn't be a platform for building our self esteem and making us feel worthy.
Only Jesus can satisfy.
Let me not claim Jesus over something that is more rooted in my acceptance.

It shouldn't be the place where we argue and debate and breed disunity and lack of peace because someone disagrees with us on Facebook.
Invite them over for a cup of coffee. A sit on your front porch. Actually come face to face with another human being and heal the offense.

It shouldn't be the thing I turn to when there is a moment of stillness or blank space.
Have I forgotten how to ride as a passenger in a car with the windows down taking in scenery as it floats by?
Have I forgotten stillness in the evening?

Part of the definition of "revival" is: The restoration to life. Consciousness.

Oh, how I need this in my interaction with social media.
I am asking God to restore the heartbeat of the life that can not hide behind a screen or live vicariously through some created world.
I want to be awake and full of gratitude. I want to be restored to look at simplicity and the present as a gift: fragile and full.
I want to seek what is life giving for me personally and how the Lord has called me to be a life giver on the internet and be done with all the rest.

And it is personal. For you, too.

It's time for me to wake up. It's time to be present.


  1. This is really good, Ashton! I find there is a fine line between online and offline community. There is a really big need for Jesus on the internet and online community, but as children, created in the image of God - we are made for real life, offline, face to face community! The balance is a huge struggle for me. I appreciate your words and the relationship we've personally built through the internet! Love you, friend!

  2. This is so so good.
    And something I struggle with daily as a mom to a toddler and midway through my pregnancy with my second. There's so many moments I feel like I just want to escape reality because I'm tired. And I turn to the Internet instead of turning to Jesus for my rest. Thank you so much for this - it's all my thoughts put down on paper. Beautifully written!


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