Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Brushes with the Past

Every once in a while, I have brushes with the past.  I'll bump into someone while I'm out and about, or see them from afar, or stumble upon them online.  And more often than not, these individuals lives look strikingly different than what they were when I knew them. 

Their appearance is different. And not just in age or typical changes. How do I say it other than ... they look like the world. Like every other person you spot on the street. Low tops, girl's hair is too short boy's hair too long, piercings, tattoos, low cut blouses, low waist jeans, etc.  But most disturbingly, a hollow sort of look in the eyes.

They are "christians" who are supposed to be salt and light, a peculiar people set apart unto a God. But the "image" I see speaks differently. At least to me. They seem more concerned with fitting in and mingling with this lost generation, than winning them to Christ. 

They say you can't judge a book by it's cover, and that's true in some instances.  But when I see/hear language that consists of casual vulgarity, mild profanity and zero praise or  acknowledgement to the Lord Jesus Christ, nor obedience to his commands, then I call a spade a spade. In the Bible this is called judging "righteous judgment".  

By all appearances, some of my former acquaintances do not appear to be honoring the Lord Jesus with their lives. Appearance is something that we can each have some measure of control over. We choose our clothing and accessories. It is the wise person who fashions their appearance to please God first and God alone. 

It's sad, but I'm actually thankful that some of these people are not in my life anymore. The Lord gives and takes away and I'm reaching a point in my life where he has taken so much away, that I've released all my old expectations for my life and replaced it with gratitude for the simple things. I am learning to praise him when he gives and praise when he takes. There's really no other way to be truly happy. 

It was the Lord's doing that took these people out of my life and at first it was painful.  But looking back to when they were in my life,  I had a strong sense that in time we'd be worlds apart because our paths were going in different directions even then. 

They would have definitely influenced my children in unsavory ways, and may have even drawn them closer to their own wayward, "selfie" lives. So I am glad and thankful that God separated us. 

I am glad my sons are not "learning the way of the heathen".  There are pros and cons to growing up near family and old friends.  And  not having to associate by familial obligation to wayward, nominal (in name only) "christians" is a good thing.  

I am astounded at the culture we are living in today where people have become grossly obsessed with taking pictures of themselves and putting their (often phony) lives on display on the internet for of few thousand of their closest 'friends' and perfect strangers to gawk at. 

I'm not inimical to communication or photographs or blogging. But I find the excess of these pastimes pretty disturbing. And I can't help but find the addiction factor alarming.

My aim for myself and my family is to be too busy living our lives to waste precious time on social media. And selfies!

OH THE SELFIES. Really?? Is this what it's come to?  

"No one wants to take my picture every day so I guess I'll have to take it myself."      


Time is something we can't manufacture. And we can't get it back. People are filling what amounts to precious years of their lives showing off meaningless activities and invented adventures and escapades — just to show online! 

All the while, ironically enough, their real lives seem empty.  How do I know? Because any life without Christ at the center of it is empty. Alternately, any life with Christ at the center is unmistakably happy.

I'm likely in the minority for thinking these practices are a bit sick and even more self centered, but one day life will present a bill to these individuals that they will find hard to pay.  


Eileen said...

I agree 100% and my journey is similar to the one here. Thank God Almighty!

Simply Keeping Home said...

Thanks Eileen. It's good to meet others on the same journey who have similar experiences. I'm glad you've found the positive side of things, too. The Lord knows what He's doing, amen? Have a blessed day!

DeNiece Barnes said...

I too agree 100 percent. I do have a Facebook pages so that I can keep up with my siblings, nieces, nephew, etc but that all it is for, plus I may check it only once a week. I too am glad for my family and I to be on this a journey for The Lord and enjoying our lives as God sees fit. What a wonderful post my friend. It does feel good to have like minded people in our lives : ) be blessed

Anonymous said...

I have just stumbled onto your blog a couple days ago and I have been so inspired! I agree with you, also. I am a young mother who does not have Facebook, and when my friends and I get together I see that I am slowly pulling away from every conversation because all they talk about is what's going in the Facebook world. It's all just gossip. They have small families, and homes to take care of yet those priorities are neglected just so they won't feel as if they are being left out. Pitiful, if you ask me.

Simply Keeping Home said...

Thanks for sharing your experiences, anonymous. I'm glad you found me inspiring. Praise God! I commend you for not using Facebook. When you invest your time and love and energy into taking good care of your home, husband and family you will never regret it. And the Lord won't either.

Simply Keeping Home said...

DeNeice, it sounds like you're using your FB account very wisely! I am so glad that I'm not the only one on this journey and there other lovely sisters in Christ traveling a similar road. God is good! :)

Tricia said...

I completely agree with you! I quit FB about 4 years ago. It was bad then and I'm sure it's gotten worse. The selfie is nothing more than self glorification. I want to glorify Christ, and Christ only! Thank you for posting this.

Jessica said...

I don't get the "selfie" thing either. I have a few pictures of myself on my blog for weight loss record-keeping, but I don't understand the other "selfies". "Here I am waiting in traffic making a kissy face!" "Here I am at my desk at work making a growl face!" "Here I am in my bathroom doing absolutely nothing!" Okay? Why am I supposed to care?

I have a Facebook page that I use to keep up with friends and family all over the country. But never for "Farmville" and other dumb games.

Simply Keeping Home said...

So true, Jessica! It's the continual self-photo-journaling of lives is where the stench is. It diminishes what is special by sheer volume. When my parents were youth, it was common to just have a shoebox worth of photos. Each one was prized. Unfortunately, that is a thing of the past.