Be Present

4B838EFF-CF60-4005-AFE5-1531533C95B0.jpegUnplug. Be Present.

 

So, this may seem contradicting considering the fact that you are most likely reading this blog through a social media source. However, recently I took it upon myself to do life by simply being present…no social media, no focusing on pictures, I even limited the amount of time I spent texting and on the phone in general (airplane mode isn’t just meant for when you’re on a plane ). It was just me, my bible, some worship music, and Jesus. And let me tell you…it was seriously wonderful!

 

It was wonderful because it caused me to solely focus on God, what is truly important and beneficial in my life. So much of our lives are consumed by our phones nowadays. This not only causes us to forget to reflect on the beauty or what is going on around us, but it can also be a major distraction in our walk with Christ. The enemy is tricky with this too because he will often time use harmless things, like our phones and social media, to distract us from our relationship with God. This also causes us to cave into the lies he is trying to feed us as well. Social media, as I found in my life, has the power to cause us to compare ourselves to others. Life becomes about how your timeline is structured, how many likes you get, who is liking your photos, who follows or unfollows you, and suddenly where is God in the picture? He may still be there, but your relationship is definitely on the back burner because your life is no longer truly about him, it’s about what you look like. And I don’t know about you, but the only thing that I want people to see when they look at me is Jesus. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy posting artsy pictures because it truly is a hobby of mine, but I do not ever want that to become my identity and where I find my worth.

 

When I was taking this break from social media it truly helped me to be able to put my priorities in place. As time went on I became hungrier for the word of God and to spend time with Him rather than on Instagram or Facebook. It was truly a refreshing time to have. This not only caused me to form better habits with my relationship with God, but it also put life as a whole in perspective for me. Social media is not the most important thing in the world, and if my world starts to revolve around that I don’t want it. I don’t want my world to revolve around anything except Jesus. Earthly things cannot even compare to the type of fullness and joy that God can bring to our lives. I can whole-heartedly say that without Him, I am nothing. My life is the way that it is today because of Jesus and what he did for me…and he did the same for you too. I am not saying to get rid of social media forever, unless you truly feel that’s something that God has put on your heart, but I am suggesting to get rid of it for a season and find a healthy balance if you do decide to download it again.

 

If I’m being honest, I think that is one of the biggest struggles for me, even still, as I am trying to find that balance that I just mentioned. This is why it is so important to consider what your priorities are in life and to ACT on them. Actions speak so much louder than words. I can speak all day about how I want to do differently and spend more time with God rather than on my phone, but if I am not actually doing it my words are meaningless.

 

What I am really trying to get at here is this…social media may seem harmless, and there are a lot of positives to having these apps don’t get me wrong, but think about it…what is the first thing that you go to or open up on your phone in the morning when you wake up? For me it was Instagram when it should have been my Bible or devotional. I got to those things eventually, but the point that I am making is that if we are putting something as simple as social media or our phones before our relationship with God there is a major heart check that needs to take place. We do not often think of the severity of something like this because the world has created these things to be so normal and natural to do. However, when I wake up in the morning I want the first thing that I run to to be Jesus, not Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, or even my text messages. All of these simple things add up to something so much greater.

 

So, I want to challenge you. Make it a point to every once in a while put your phone down. Don’t get me wrong, social media can be a great outlet, ministry tool, way to stay connected to others, and just be fun to use in general; however, let’s also be sure to take a step back and be present. Ask God to show you what it is that He has for you in this season of your life. Every day is a new day to grow, get to know Him better, and try to understand and walk in His plans for you. Your social media accounts will still be there when you return, I promise. Take some time though. Experience life with the people you love, travel new places, go on adventures, talk to God and allow Him to talk back, get to truly know yourself better... you’ll be surprised what God shows you and does through you if you just allow Him.

 

Olivia Flanagan

Photo credit to Yahdi Romelo

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