I have to resist the urge to publish my entire life – to make every moment a story. Flesh-wise, I have a lot working against me: for one thing, when I’m not submitting to the Spirit, I have a tendency to exaggerate and sensationalize in my communication.
In addition to that, I live and work on a ship that sails to some very obscure ports. The ship itself is a hospital, full of life-transforming miracles (no exaggeration). I have an awesome and beautiful wife and three of the most amazing kiddos in the galaxy! (see the sensationalism there? …still, they are pretty freakin’ amazing, though!) Honestly, my life is very tweetable.
But do I really want my every experience to become a tweet? Do I really want to publish every intimate moment? Does God want me to broadcast every special occurrence?
I remember the story of Mary from Luke 2, who upon hearing the message from the Angel Gabriel that she would bear the Messiah, she “treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart”.
Let’s look at this. Mary just saw and spoke to an Angel. The Angel told her that God “highly favored her”. The Angel told her that she would become pregnant while still a virgin. Finally, the Angel was heralding the arrival of Israel’s Messiah… the single most anticipated moment in Hebrew history had just been shared with her by an Angel! This is some amazing Twitter material!
Her response? Rush out and tell the world? Blog it? Live-tweet it? Take a picture and think of a witty caption (my flaw)? No. She “treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart”.
I’m sad to say that more often than “treasuring up” the special moments of my life and “pondering them in my heart”, I am far more often thinking of a witty caption to the photo of the experience that I am (at that very moment) snapping with my iPod to tweet.
I wonder: how many precious and wonderful moments have I missed out on personally experiencing because I was too busy “sharing” them with the world? Instead of being an active, fully-engaged participant in the moment itself, I remove myself from it – at least partially, if not fully. Instead, I become a reporter of the moment. Merely an observer of the experience, rather than a participant in it.
If you follow this site, you may be thinking, “what in the world does this have to do with discipleship?” You are right to think that question. This site not meant to be retelling of all my missionary exploits and personal ponderings. It is meant to assist believers in their followership of Jesus.
Let me just put it to you this way. If it means something to you, then may the Spirit cause this to blossom into a personal application in your life. If not, then hopefully I’ve at least given you a bit of interesting reading :-).
There is a time to broadcast, to publicize. There is also a time to “treasure up these things and ponder them in your heart”, as Mary did. Yes, God is definitely in the Good News-sharing business. Our lives should certainly display, promote, and broadcast the good things God is doing and allowing us to be a part of.
But maybe every so often (or maybe even frequently) there are things that God wants us to cherish as a sacred and special in our hearts and memories. Maybe some experiences are just for us…
Now granted, these special experiences still may involve a camera in the moment or a journal after the fact, so that you can revisit the cherished memories again and again in the future. But… maybe just reserve them for your family’s enjoyment, or for your own future reflection and remembrance, rather than immediately publishing every event and every thought as a “product” for public consumption.
What do you think? Post a comment below and continue the conversation!