I was curious when I saw a little quiz on Facebook titled, “How long have you been on Facebook”. I took it and there are my results below…7 years and 361 days. Facebook and I are about to become 8 year old “friends”. Though those numbers actually makes me want to terminate my account rather than throw a party, this quiz brings up another, more important question to me. What the quiz ought to calculate is how much ACTUAL time I have spend on Facebook. Those are the numbers that would truly reveal my heart.
In our narcissistic culture (of which I am a part) that thinks everything done under the sun is worth publishing somewhere, I wonder what we will say when we do give an account to God for how we spent our time.
I sometimes think back to my grandma raising her seven children some sixty years ago. She and my grandfather worked hard everyday. They grew a garden large enough to feed their family all year. She was resourceful and innovative with the resources they had. She was creative and made beauty from simple things. She inspires me still today. And to think she did all of that without telling the world. She spent her time doing. And your grandma did too.
So I have to ask myself, what am I doing? Am I tending what God has given me? How much of my day in 2016 is consumed in vanity because tools which feed vanity are fiercely offering themselves to me? In what ways do I feed a virtual image but not the real roots and nourishment of my soul and life?
Idols are like that. They are an image, an illusion of greatness. They promise satisfaction and hold a power over their worshipers, but in the end they are just a hunk of common wood. They leave you feeling dissatisfied and impoverished in your soul. You could read and study Isaiah 44 for more understanding here.
Pouring time and energy into an idol will leave a soul dried up and hollow. It may not happen overnight, but slowly, the soul is starved of spiritual nutrition and health and life.
As our Sunday School class works through Ecclesiastes this summer and I also consider how I use my days, vanity is before me. I recognize I have to counteract the vain things of this world and keep myself from the idols of our age. I believe this comes from choices made everyday about how to spend time.
Will I feed my soul with the nourishment of God’s word, prayer, and service?
Will I use modern tools to glorify him and put others before myself?
Will I refrain from and cut out the things that cause me to stumble and sin?
Will I cultivate the real and tangible life God has given me and be thankful?
Will I give my worship, my honor, and my trust to the one true God instead of to an image that is powerless to help me?
Here is a song below by JJ Heller that pierces my vain heart. May we worship the only One who is worthy and nothing else.
In Christ’s love, Erika