As long as I live there will be something worth fighting for, worth writing for, and worth dying for.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Retreating to the Sacred

There are times in life when I can be a tad bit impulsive. I guess it is just the passion with which I live life. Last night I was online and suddenly got this grand idea to deactivate my Facebook. No particular reason, except maybe to show that I don't need it as much as I use it.

A couple of years ago I read a book by Eric Ludy entitled "Meet Mr. Smith." It subtitles itself as a book about sex, but it isn't. It is a book about life and how to live a life that honors God. The idea is that if our life honors God then our love life will be extraordinarily fulfilling. Love life aside, a chapter of the book emphasized sacredness.

Eric recounts his story by personifying human characteristics. In his book, Sacred is a person and Sacred has asked for his book. Sacred has asked to take his manuscript and walk away for a while and wants Eric to trust her. I remember that part spoke so vividly to me about what things in life are to be sacred.

Just yesterday I began reading in 1 Samuel and read the account of Hannah praying for, receiving, and dedicating Samuel. From conception, really, Samuel had been set apart for God's use. Being set apart for God's use means you will be used in God's time, in God's way and will allow yourself to be used as such. Sometimes it means allowing things to settle, to simmer, to wait. In Eric's case, with deadlines looming not far away, God asked him to put his book on hold for seven weeks in order to devote time to his family. Last night, I realized that Facebook has been pulling me away from what is sacred!

Facebook is not evil. I want to say that right now. When I have 500+ college classmates all in the marriage-babies stage, there is no way on this green earth that I would be able to keep track of all of them. It has been a great medium for communication and keeping up on their lives. But it has also been a leaky pipe when it comes to my ministry.

Writing, for me, comes as an impulse (told you I am impulsive). I could honestly be driving down the road, minding my own business, and BAM! thoughts come. It's like someone dumping a pile of marbles on a floor, they roll all over for bit, and then they settle. When they settle, I write. I may not even know what I am writing about, I just write. It allows me to sort through the pile of marbles, to admire them and place them carefully in a bag to be stored. Writing, really, is an energy for me more than an activity.

Facebook has been a medium for that energy. It is far easier and much more pleasant to write up a Facebook note when I am in the mood to write. I know people will be notified on their walls. I receive almost instant feedback in the form of comments or 'like' ratings. It is an instant gratification.

Instant gratification is not a protector or a friend of the sacred. It is the enemy of the sacred. It draws attention to oneself for the immediate glory of oneself. It is too easily controlled. Too easily forced and manipulated. It is just too easy. My energies are spent writing about my book instead of actually writing my book. Basically, I don't feel my book will get written because I am too busy updating people on Facebook.

So, I killed off Facebook until my family gets back from our vacation in July. In the meantime, I am retreating to the sacred.

What is sacred? you may ask.

To me, the two things that are sacred are my family and my ministry. The writing 'energy' I am given is to be used for God. It is my Samuel.

I expect great things in the next month. I am a dreamer, unashamed. I expect great things with Alabaster Grace. I expect great things with Beggar's Daughter. I expect great things with my youth group. I expect great things with my Sunday School class. That is my ministry. That is what is sacred.

I may be inconvenienced for a while, but I will take that. I will take the lack of communication with long lost friends. I will take missing the first pictures of new babies if it means that I can be lost in Christ.

I will still be here. This is part of my ministry. This is actually my freewriting (what writers write about until they are ready to write about that which they are supposed to write). For the most part though I will be lost inside my books. Books which are so near completion. Books which the world has never seen. Instant gratification? no. It is hard work. It is frustrating work. It is satisfying work because it is sacred work.

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