Monday, April 25, 2011

The Social Network Fast, Blog Day #1

Have you ever experienced the feeling of almost stifling quiet? The kind of quiet that makes you feel as if you have been suspended in time? I have. At the bottom of a deep pool. I used to jump off the diving board, expel all the air out of my lungs, and enjoy the silence as I sank my body down to the bottom. I would stay positioned there until my chest would burn and I would have to swallow against my body's instinct to breathe in.

And there was this kind of stifling quiet that came to me once again during this year's Lent season. But I didn't do anything nearly as exciting as holding my breath underwater until I'm about to take water into my lungs. I took a break from social networking. No Facebook, no Twitter, no BeenUp2 and no blogging. I would have skipped texting and emailing, too, if they weren't such an essential form of communication in this day and age.

So now, after 40 days of nothingness, I am going to blog for 40 days straight. A blogging blitz to describe the things that went on in my isolated and lonely silence. I felt like I was suspended in time, yet becoming more productive and growing faster than I have in a long time. There was a transformation, a refocusing of faith, and an old flame refueled. . .

The blogs are in no particular order, the topics will be random. I've had 40 days to think and ponder. Many hours of staring at my iPhone, wishing I could just touch the Facebook icon. Many Facebook updates I wanted to text people, but didn't for fear of appearing desperate. Many awkward stares (with me doing the staring) in passing Facebook friends whose lives I was no longer a "part of".

It seems so shallow, a Facebook fast. But social networking has a trap that people don't quite know they're in. It feeds into our natural selfishness. It has a tendency to engulf us in our own minds. My own internal monologue changed to the third person, and I started narrating my own life to myself. I became the main theme of my life and everyday was shaped to make myself look more impressive to the people, most of them mere acquaintances, with whom I shared my Facebook life with. When I felt I couldn't be impressive, I thought my life deficient in some way and strove to make it perfect. It often left me gazing at the pasture on the other side of the fence, whose grass seemed to be so pleasingly bright and shiny green. A dangerous road to be on when one's claims are of obedience and trusting faith in an almighty God who is the controller and savior of all things created.

After the initial detoxification, my mind rose out of the muddy water and I began to see the blessings around me. I discovered contentment in them. I realized that my "trials" were just my faith in the refinement process. I heard the small, still voice calling and I obeyed. Day by day, my focus turned from an inward magnifying lens to an outward scope of how I can serve and love better.

Not only did I spiritually awaken to a whole new maturity level, I learned to discipline myself physically. I lost 15 pounds, and can now run 4.5 miles without losing a lung. I ran a 5K race for the first time, and I've rekindled my love for cooking and eating healthy. On a more geekier side, I practiced piano nearly everyday and rejoined the church choir as the accompanist. That in itself deserves it's own blog entry.

What can I say, God was a movin' and a shakin' in this weary soul. . .And I'm going to share all the ways He did. . .For 40 days. . .yes, with a social networking tool. . .Tell your friends. . .

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