Nothing is done in the secret, quite place anymore. Prayer is something we even put on display for the world to see. Everything must be shared. Everyone must know. There isn’t a sense of private life anymore.
And yet, I am beginning to see a turn away from such publicity. Everything has a phase. The pendulum always swings first to one extreme, and then to the next. I see it in my closest friends. I feel it in my heart.
I fantasize about what it must have been like to live before the internet. I got a MySpace around 14, and I’ve been on Facebook since 16. That’s over ten years of sharing my life constantly with people in this fashion. Is it wrong? No. Will I get rid of it? No. I need it for work. It’s a heck of a lot easier to use than sending out paper invites and waiting for paper RSVP’s. It’s a way I can share my writing and encourage others. But my personal pendulum is coming back down. It’s seeking a better balance.
Isn’t that the way with life? It’s the way with generations in every walk of life. Our parents did things one way, so we will do it another. In turn, our kids will do it opposite from us. The next generation always “knows best”. The last generation always “did it wrong”. The next generation is always “rebelling”. The last generation is always too “stubborn and close minded”.
I choose not to see it this way. My parents generation is rich and full of knowledge – some they got from their parents, and some they learned on their own. And my own peers are growing and maturing and finding their own way – having great ideas and theories and experiences. The way I see it, we both can help each other out. The key is to be both open minded and firm in what we believe and hold dear.
I know the world will never see eye-to-eye, but what’s keeping me from seeing eye-to-eye with the people I actually spend time with? I don’t need to agree with everything a friend from high school (who I haven’t talked to in 7 years but I see their posts on Facebook) says or states. It would be foolish to even enter into a debate with them. I don’t know them. They don’t know me. I don’t know their inner values and beliefs, and they don’t know mine. There would be no respect in that conversation, because we don’t actually know one another. Why would we change our mindset for a stranger?
But if a close friend of mine, who I see on a weekly basis, started talking about something I didn’t quite believe in, then we could have a conversation about it. We could both be open minded, because hopefully there would already be a foundation of respect and trust. So that even if we came to it, we could agree to disagree, move on, and continue living life together.
There is a beauty I am just beginning to uncover that has nothing to do with any of my online friends, and only to do with my Lord, my husband, and the actual community I have in the town I live. It’s a beauty I am excited to uncover and experience. I feel an invitation to simplicity. A call to appreciate everything I have – not because it’s better than my neighbors, but because it personally brings me peace and joy. I feel an invitation to live in deeper union with my God, and take on only the mountains he’s brought me to climb.