My last Facebook status one week ago was, “Will be taking a bit of a sabbatical from Facebook. See you FB friends when I comeback. Blessings!” I picked last Thursday the 12th on purpose because I was going to be away from the computer for a good three days and did not have to white knuckle it through the de-tox!! You laugh but unfortunately it is true.
Immediately after posting the status, I received an email from a friend asking me about it. Others have stopped me in meetings and said, “Facebook sabbatical. Are you ok?” I even received a phone call from a friend checking on me because of my status.
To all inquires, my response was the banality of Facebook. Banality is a word I learned from John Piper as he explained why he did not have a TV in his home when his boys were growing up and I thought it applied to me with Facebook. The Oxford Dictionary used synonyms for banality such as triteness, unimaginativeness, lack of originality and my favorite, prosaicness.
There are lots of things I like about Facebook but for me it had become some such a time waster. And I was wasting time over such trite things as someone complaining about the traffic or how long the carpool line was. Instead of checking status updates, why not patiently wait at the light or riding the elevator down to the first floor? If I was at dinner alone, why not be still and relax instead of reading about someone else’s dinner? My mind is already on overdrive, why was I making it even crazier filling it with trivia?
So, does this mean I will never be on Facebook again and I am closing down my account? Not at all. But I am being mindful of the time I spend on it and I will try and capture those moments of stillness so that I can know God even better. (Psalm 46:10)
In May of 2005 at a retreat for about 60 women, I had the privilege of spending quality time with amazing women such as Jennifer O’Neill, Cheryl Reccord and Vonette Bright. Mrs. Bright as many of you know is the wife of Campus Crusade founder, Bill Bright. During the long weekend together, I was able to visit with Mrs. Bright and during our conversation I asked how I could pray for her. She immediately responded, “That I would finish well.”
Last week as I read about many of the kings of Judah in II Chronicles, this prayer request came to my mind because most, despite starting strong, did not finish well. I have been there – have you? You know, start a diet on Monday and do great until Wednesday’s lunch at the Mexican restaurant and I go off track. Or start on January 1 to read the Bible through in a year and do great until I get to the list of who is begetting who in Genesis or the laws in Leviticus and I stop. Or I use kind words to those around me until I get cut off in traffic.
Despite the starts and stops, if we want to finish well, we can never quit at a “stop” but we must begin again. There are five months left in 2010 and I want to finish 2010 well so I must finish August well, September well, October well, etc. I think you get the picture. Finishing well does not happen at the finish line but at each day along the way.
Where do you want to finish well? In five months, 20 pounds of weight loss is possible or going from couch potato to 10K race is obtainable. You can read the entire New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs in five months or memorize 20 verses of the Bible. You could send 50 or more encouraging notes to your friends and family or read 10 books.
If you would like to finish strong in 2010, why don’t you take just a few minutes now and write out three goals that you would like to accomplish in the next five months? Take those goals and make a plan each day to work on them. I have done that and, if you do it as well, I believe we will both be amazed at what we can accomplish.