My reaction to the article: "duh?"
Let's face it, folks. We are a culture who is fascinated with ourselves. The children of the baby-boomers. Gen-X. Gen-Y. Yeah, us. We can't get enough of ourselves. Just take a gander at what has popped up on the Internet in the past 10 years. "Myspace... Facebook.... and , YouTube, and yes, Blogger."
Everything is about our efforts to be significant. We slap hundreds of pictures up about ourselves and want people to come and look. We post a bazillion facts about ourselves and we want people to come and look. We post thousands of inane stories about ourselves and we want people to come and look... We write blogs for a year or so and suddenly believe that we are Faulkner.
Now, not all of this is bad, of course, but it is a symptom of a total and complete obsession with ourselves. We are insulted if people don't comment. We are insulted if people aren't watching our videos. We keep a close record of how many people are coming to our websites. We enroll in silly surveys to get more people coming so we feel better. We silently compete with other friends for number of friends in facebook or Myspace or even comments. We look with glowing pride at how many links we have.
We are so narcissistic that we raise our kids up to be our friends, afraid that they won't "like" us or think we are cool. In doing so, we destroy their ability to submit to authority, and God help us in 20 years. (I always say that your child should fear you as much as they love you, or at least 25% as much as they love you.)
But enough about the kids, this is about us. This is about our inability to stop thinking about ourselves. My lord, it is almost like everywhere we look we see that mirror, or pool of water for which we can gaze at ourselves. Be honest, how many times do you look into that pool a day? (Pool=facebook, youtube, blogger, myspace) Is it "just for fun?" or is it a symptom of something else? Does it haunt you?
So what do we really want out of life? Is it our dreams? I think most times it is less about dreams than it is about wanting worship, adoration. It is as old as the Garden of Eden, people. It is the seed that we are born with and God must uproot. We want significance. And significance comes from one place and one place alone, my friends - The Good Lord. (The trickiest thing being: When we seek the Lord, I believe God does gives us dreams. When we step out in faith to pursue them, it is a delicate balance of never letting those dreams become idols. It is easy to do something you don't love and "serve the Lord with it." It is much harder to do your passion and constantly, every day, yield it to the Father.) So go for your dreams, but make sure you aren't doing them to be significant. You already are that.
I learned this about myself when I went to Kentucky this summer. I had no internet, no TV and darn-near no phone. I was FORCED to interact with other people, and lots of them. Most of you know, I am a little OCD. I've got problems. And no, that isn't cool. People think it is all cool to have some sort of horrible disorder. It is not. Just try worrying about dying until you have to pull your car over from having a panic attack. Try obsessing over something until it completely consumes you and you are thrown in to the pit of despair. Yeah, that's fun. I work my butt off every day to beat it. It is hard, don't wish it upon anyone, least of all yourself. I'd trade places with Mr. or Mrs. sunshine, ANY DAY.
Anyways, Kentucky... After about a month, I wasn't sure if I'd ever go back to blogging or even the Internet altogether. Sometimes I wonder if I made the right decision. I think so. But I have to monitor it. I only allow 1 hour of Internet a day. I only allow myself to go to some blogs. I don't go to negative blogs or ones that get me ridiculously fired up. I read one or two news feeds a day. (Getting a newspaper subscription, much better. You avoid the endless surfing and worrying. Plus it is a billion times better writing.)
Sorry for the rant, but this particular headline set me off. If you are like me, stop searching for the pool or mirror. Look for other people to pour your life into - your kids, your spouse, your friends, your church... Those are the treasures that don't rust or rot. In every attempt to look in that mirror you only build a false sense of significance and everything is distorted and motives are turned evil. When you seek the face of God, you find that all that crap you were worried about is completely laughable. They don't compare. That's what Paul said when he said "I count them all DUNG in comparison."