Putting down the No More Gaps

I’ve recently noticed myself opening Social Media feeds more and more; like a nervous tick, an automatic reaction to … being left alone for more than 5 seconds \ a need to be distracted at work \ standing in line (even if that line is 2 people long – including me). It’s become like a ‘No More Gaps’ for my attention, or an addiction to short bites of media, opinion or sensation. I’ve drawn it in caps (SM) because it feels like that’s what its become – Capital. A place to live, rather than a tool to use, a demand rather than a choice … (Is this The Matrix?). Maybe I’m pitching this too high; or maybe not.

But SM has become a place for being distracted, or getting lost in unhelpful or negative threads. I’ve reacted to news bites or people’s responses to stories – even though I know that they don’t represent the full story. I’ve also become increasingly negative or saddened by the stories I’ve read. The Pell / Trump / Morrison cycle has not helped, as I’ve found myself drawn into stories that perpetuate that negativity, or distress.

Ash Wednesday – the beginning of Lent – is my opportunity to reset. I’m dropping off Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) until Easter Monday. I’ve wanted to do this since the Cambridge Analytica saga 12 months ago (yes, it was ONLY that long ago). It’s a reset that I’ve increasingly felt is necessary for my soul.

I know I’ll miss some connecting moments with the running community, and witty tweets from friends and colleagues. I’ll miss the inspirational stories of fire-fighters and neighbours battling this current round of bush fires.

I’m curious to see what will replace this nervous twitch – and what others will notice. I hope I’ll be more attentive to the world around me, to people whom I care about and to God.

So I’ve taken the Red Pill, put down the No More Gaps, and deleted the apps from my phones and iPad … lets see where the Rabbit Hole leads, and what the cracks reveal.

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ash wednesday 2016: living honestly

Days like this
You look up at the sky above you
Days like this
You think about the ones that love you

All I wanna do is live my life honestly;
I just wanna wake up and see your face next to me
Every regret I have I will go set it free
It will be good for me.

“Days like this” Over the Rhine.

237120-ash-wednesday

All I wanna do is live my life honestly.

We sat around ashes and a candle, listening to the sultry tones of Karin Bergquist, holding the hardest of questions in our hands; questions of unforgiveness, of brokenness; questions that bring tears at 3am and stunned silence at 6pm; questions that we dare not ask aloud – though we ask them regularly.

Every regret I have I will go set it free

Ash Wednesday 2016 was an open invitation to crack open those questions in the context of a pilgrimage. “When we wake on Easter Morning, this part of the journey will be finished. This invitation is to bring these questions with us, and to engage them honestly; to seek forgiveness, reconciliation, hope; to understand ourselves and others; and to listen to the voice of One who is never far away from places and people in suffering and struggle.”

Everyone is welcome. Anytime.

All my favorite people are broken
Believe me
My heart should know

Orphaned believers, skeptical dreamers
Step forward
You can stay right here
You don’t have to go

“All my favorite people” Over the Rhine.