Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Paralyzed



I've spent the better part of the last couple of hours alternating between staring at a blank screen, perusing the eighty-eight unfinished blogs in my drafts folders and reading back through old posts, trying to figure out how I managed to churn out seventy-six posts back in 2008 when I was a working single mama of two small children and a full-time college student; yet, here I am today, seven years later, alone in an empty house in the middle of the day staring at a blank screen.

Utterly paralyzed by all of this nothingness.  

All of that silence I talked about yesterday is still here.  Still taunting me.  Naively, having given up all social media, I expected my thoughts would naturally shift towards deeper spiritual matters, that I would instantaneously be more sensitive to the Spirit, more aware of His presence - and instead,
so far anyway, the only thing I am more aware of than ever is how utterly ridiculous I am.  That, and how much I talk to myself.  Full on conversations: 

Me:  Well, you're a photographer by nature, so it makes sense that your Instagram feed has a lot of photos.
Also Me:  It's almost five thousand.
Me:  But you love to document those moments so you don't forget them, you're freezing time and memories and this is important stuff.
Also Me:  It's hard for me to even drink this cup of coffee without Instagramming it.  I must remember to tell everyone about this cup of coffee.
Me:  (silence)

And there it is.  The silence.  And all these "confessions of a social media addict" that it's ushering in with it. 

I start to think this whole thing through, slowly, with trepidation, because I don't yet know what the implications of thinking such things through will be.  

I keep thinking about one of David Platt's messages in which he asks the congregation point blank: "What is God asking you to give up?".  He didn't mean "you" as a congregation, but you as an individual.  It's a question I think we may not ask ourselves enough, for fear of His answer.  For it may be the very things we love, the things we justify so easily, the things we find fun and harmless.

Three days ago, I gave up social media simply as a way to make more time and more room for Him. 

And now I find myself surround by all of these scales... that have fallen from my eyes.

We all lament the passing of time, no one more than me, and in a somewhat desperate attempt to capture it all, it turns out - ironically - that I've wasted so much of it.  Doing what?  Taking and sharing photos of  things like Starbucks coffee cups with my name scribbled on them.  Every time I sit down at a delicious meal, I feel the nagging to photograph it.  Every time I'm on a date with my husband, it necessitates a photograph or at least a check-in. 

What if capturing all of the mundane we've made the sacred somehow less?  And worse, what of the moments missed altogether?   And of those wasted altogether?  

What if we've traded moments of eternal significance for moments of fleeting insignificance?  

These are the questions plaguing and paralyzing my heart.  

One of those eighty-eight drafts in my folder was simply titled, "Paralyzed".  I clicked it open, hoping for a good start - a paragraph or two as a prompt.  Nothing.  I had only typed "Luke 5:16-27".  It's the story of Jesus healing a paralyzed man, who had been brought Him by his friends.  Carrying the man on  stretcher of sorts, when they couldn't find a way into the house through the crowd, they climbed onto the roof, removed some tiles and lowered their friend down through the opening, right at the feet of Jesus.  He forgave the man's sins and simply said, "Get up, roll up your mat and go home."

And I'm reminded of our Savior, who forgives our sin and who heals our paralysis, sometimes in our bodies, sometimes in our hearts.  

"Turn my eyes from worthless things and give me life through your word." - Psalm 119:37

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