(Author’s note: This post is written by guest author Anthony Hessler, who has written a handful of other articles for this blog.)
During the 40 days of Lent, it’s popular among Christians to give something up. This can remind us of Jesus fasting in the desert and of His ultimate sacrifice for us, and it can be a form of self-discipline as we turn away from things that may normally distract us from our focus on God. Depending on the person and/or their particular denomination, it’s common to give up things like consuming certain foods (e.g. meat, fish, sweets, alcohol) or limiting our interaction with technology (e.g. no TV or social media). This is all well and good, but this year, I had a “radical” thought…
In the movie Stranger Than Fiction, Harold Crick suddenly realizes that an unseen voice is narrating his life. As he tries to decide whether the story he is living is a comedy or a tragedy, he makes a tally mark in a little notebook whenever something good or bad happens to him. Considering that he is a socially-awkward IRS agent auditing a strong-minded and resentful young woman whom he finds particularly attractive, it comes as little surprise that at the end of the day he has almost a full page of tragedy tallies and only four lonely marks for comedy. As he steps out into the rainy night he remarks, “This may sound like gibberish to you, but I think I’m in a tragedy.”
I’m sure we’ve all heard the phrase, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” As a child I’d repeat this jingle, but it never rang true. Every dig of ridicule would cut to the heart and hurt.
“John D. and 24 others like your status.”
“Barb S. and 10 others +1 your photo.”
“Greg T. and 6 others commented on your post.”
“@someone_special favorited your tweet.”
Do these statements look familiar? If you’re registered with one of the big social networks, you are probably bombarded with alerts like this throughout the day. And if you’re like most social site butterflies, you get a euphoric kick when people comment/share/like what you have to say. But do you place too much importance and value on your social media success?
Author’s Note: From time to time I will run a piece by a guest author or reblog a piece from elsewhere. This post is submitted by guest author Anthony Hessler.
Pray Continually. – 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NIV)
I’ll be honest. I don’t have the world’s greatest prayer life. And I’ll bet you don’t either. We might talk about how important prayer is, how we should start and end the day with prayer, and even tell people that we’ll pray for them when they need it. But we all fall short of seeing these things through. Life gets in the way. We forget to pray.