Can God Be Found in Facebook?
September 8, 2013
In these last few weeks of summer, I am looking back on my newfound adventure in faith. It is one that includes being more committed to a disciplined approach of opening my mind and heart to God's presence through quiet morning devotions. I always looked at "suggested daily devotions" as a routine too restrictive to my free spirit and not unlike brushing your teeth, washing your face and taking your vitamin. I felt it was one more "to do" in a long list of many for my already tight morning schedule. Retirement has brought me so many new joys, but this may be the finest of them all! I truly have time to spend with God in meditation, prayer and reading each morning.
In this new summer adventure into faith, I am able to take time to notice special words of encouragement, hope and faith from (who would believe it?) Facebook. Let us be honest for a moment. We must be "part of the world, but not in the world" as we are admonished in:
Romans 12:2 and be ye not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
You cannot make a positive difference in others' lives if you have become monastic in your faith for fear of being exposed to the "negative" influences we see. I love that the United Methodist Church, who I "friended" on Facebook, by the way, leaves me a positive thought and a Bible verse to consider with each new morning. The same is true of a special congregation in the Golden Isles of GA, named The Grace Place, which is a Baptist Church lead by and attended by many high school friends. Both Facebook sources seem to be a beacon of light as I read through all the daily posts.
Each morning, as I weed through the cranky discourse associated with current events and politics and the endless recipes which make me salivate while trying to read, I can keep up with friends recent adventures. It is interesting mix of negative thoughts of hopelessness intertwined with words of encouragement, strength and hope. I remember shortly after the most recent Presidential election, I was overflowing with fury and disatisfaction with the results and was "babbling" not "bubbling" over with contempt. I was in the world without any connection to God each morning. I was "all me" running amuk on the internet with confusion and revulsion, until finally one morning, I woke and was silent. I made the personal choice to "give it up." All the angst was making me weary and causing me to begin each new day with negative thoughts. The more I struggled with the fear for our country, the more I seemed to seek out others who were ranting and raving, also. This search for those who agreed with me lead me to end a friendship with a songwriter whose friendship I valued for five years. Something had to be done to end the negative, destructive effect it was having on my life. I was not only "in" the world, but I was "of" the world. And when we are "of the world" we are subject to losing sight of God's light and His love and blessings.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Our great, daily challenge in being part of our world through its many new forms of technological communication is to be "of" the world but not "in" the world. By being part of the Facebook community we can become aware of the daily needs of others who ask for prayers, support and suggestions. We can offer them words of encouragement, hope and prayer. Our challenge is not to be "in" the world where our focus becomes one filled with anger, discord and divisiveness. Help us find ways to be a light reflecting your message of love and hope and salvation.
In Jesus' Name,