I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville writer with a passion for family travel, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark. Want to get in touch? Use the CONTACT form at the top of the page.
August 30, 2011
If there’s one major downfall of social media, it’s that it has turned too many of us into relentless navel gazers.
We have become a society of oversharers, whether on Pinterest or Posterous, Foursquare or Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr… Never before have we been so encouraged to turn our focus inward, to offer up every last detail of our daily lives to anyone who’ll listen…
And as offenders go, I’m right up there at the top.
I share with the world what I eat, what I wear, what I’m reading, how I parent, and anything else that comes to mind– and I’m rewarded for it.
Sharing my life on the Internet has become a career, and when people ask what I do for a living, I generally answer, “I have a dream job. I write about myself and get paid for it!” –And that’s true. As work goes, I couldn’t have created a more perfect job for myself.
But there are pitfalls to all of this sharing that I never could have imagined when I created a blog six years ago.
Beth Moore put it perfectly in the Introductory Session of her Living Beyond Yourself Bible Study when she said these words:
“Nothing will steal your contentment like self-absorption.”
That statement is the antithesis of what we hear and see each day in the media and online. Self-absorption, we’re led to believe, is what it’s all about! Find your bliss! Follow your path! It’s all about YOU!
But in reality, haven’t you found that the times you’ve been most consumed with your own personal fulfillment and happiness are also the times you’ve been least fulfilled and happy?
I know I have.
Any time I’m too focused on myself and my feelings and my growth and my satisfaction, inevitably, I’m miserable.
And on the flip side, on those occasions when I’ve been able to extend my focus beyond myself, when I’ve made an effort to see my true place in a world where I’m just one soul in a sea of millions, when I’ve forgotten about me and become consumed instead with trying to help others…
Those are the times when I’ve truly felt alive. Those are the times when my life has seemed to have meaning and purpose. When I’ve felt that I was living the life that God intended for me to live.
The problem I have is that I find it difficult to maintain this kind of mindset for longer than a few months at a time. And that makes sense. Too often, I treat God like an anti-depressant. I use Him until I feel better, and then I convince myself that I’m just fine on my own.
I want to stop doing that. Because somewhere inside me, I know that I am at my very best when I’m allowing God to work through me. And God can only work through me when I’m praying regularly. When I’m reading my Bible regularly. When I’m seeking out the company of others who have the same goals (in addition to my other friends, of course!).
When I’m not ashamed to tell others who I am and what I believe.
I’ve come to the inescapable conclusion that I can’t be the person I want to be without God in my life.
When am I going to stop trying?
These are the thoughts that went through my mind after watching the Intro session of the Beth Moore study that I’m hosting online right now. And to be honest, writing these words for everyone to read terrifies me. I am so afraid I’m going to freak some of you out, or make you feel alienated. While I’m posting about the sessions, I’m going to make my best effort to keep this discussion broad enough for any of you to participate in the comments, whether you’re part of the study or not, whether you’re a Christian or of another faith or agnostic or atheist. I want this to be a safe place to talk about what we believe and why. And for those of you who are doing the study and want to go deeper and talk more about what you’re seeing and reading, I’ve started a private Facebook group as well. (E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to join.)
So that’s what I think … How about you?
Image via Zazzle