In my effort to live my life as crucified to the world in emulation of Jesus, the following things come to mind:
First, I want to apologize to anyone who has been hurt or confused or upset by something I have said on Twitter or posted on Facebook. It has never been my intent to tear down people, to impede the creative process, or to shout loudly from my own soapbox. Speaking poetically doesn’t just apply to face to face interaction, it also applies to anything I text, tweet, or facebook. It doesn’t merely apply to content, but also to the ways that content is disseminated. I cannot, in good conscience, continue to post out-of-context and derogatory remarks about people, places, or things. Paul tells us to be at peace with everyone. I am to go out of my way to avoid conflict. I am certainly not supposed to go looking for an argument. It turns out, you see, that I am my sister’s keeper.1 Her wellbeing IS my responsibility.
Second, I am no less opinionated than I was this morning when I woke up, but I want to try channeling that energy in the direction of creation rather than destruction. There is a way of building that involves a wrecking ball in order to clear the way for something else and there is a way of building which seeks to improve, maybe even significantly, something already in existence. I think both kinds are necessary, but that I have become too content with using the wrecking ball method. I have not been very good about being committed to making something that actually exists better. I want to be committed to Beltway Park Baptist Church and to the College ministry associated therewith—committed in encouraging, helpful, and edifying ways. I want to be committed to a group of people with no conditions regarding what they think or what they do. This doesn’t mean that my questions go away. By no means! But it does mean that the location of those questions is in life-building relationships with others rather than in impersonal social media or in complaints to others with whom I instinctively agree.
Third, I want to spend less of my time far away in the virtual world reading blogs, obsessing over Twitter, and getting into arguments with people I’ve never met, and I want to spend more of my time with the people immediately in my life. I want to take the emotional energy directed far away and direct it, instead, at the people in front of me. When I am in class, I want to be in class, not on Facebook. When I am with people, I want my phone to be in my pocket and not in my hand. When I am with God I want my computer to be shut and my knees on the ground. I’m not saying I will be any less informed about what goes on in the world, though I might be, but I am saying that I will not be controlled by the “out there” when there is so much life “right here.”
May God conform me to the image of his son.
1“Walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” -Ephesians 4:1-6