Look outward.

This morning, as I checked Facebook while drinking my coffee, I read status after status by my friends who are all taking Lent as a time to disconnect from Facebook. There’s a need to take a break from the political posts and the mindless status updates about what someone is doing (I am totally guilty of both).

Has Facebook become so much a part of our lives that it’s getting in the way of God?

Yes.

Here’s the thing: anything can get in the way of our relationship with God if we let it. We’ve prioritized the social media sphere as a platform to be public theologians and witnesses to the point that we’re un-friending people and getting into arguments with people we’ve never met. Others attempt to plaster Facebook with art and beauty to try and balance out the posts about death, police misconduct, hate crimes, our president’s antics and rising government spending for his personal use. Even those people trying to bring positivity to Facebook are getting exhausted.

It’s exhausting to try and wade through all of the messy world. And sometimes, you need a break to rest and rejuvenate to get back into the fight. That is, if you see it as one.

Sometimes, we let the public sphere or social media get in our way of God, even thought that’s what we so often use now to talk about God. I commend my friends for calling out this thing that’s blocking them from God. That’s not always an easy thing to do.

Looking forward to the next 40 days, I am trying to figure out the things that get in my way of having a whole and meaningful relationship with God. I am trying to dig deep into myself and my habits and practices to see where I’m going wrong.

But I’m also looking outwards to others, seeking God in the world. I want to know what it is that’s keeping me from whole relationships with others. What is blocking my path to connect with the rest of God’s creation?

Lent is a time of inward reflection. From ashes we came and we will return to that, but so will everyone else. So, I’m going to look outward as much as I look inward. I want to find God in the world. And I want to celebrate that.

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