Marching To The Beat Of A Different Reality

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Selfie Generation And Proverbs 16:27

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I TRY to wake up around 5:30 am every morning. After that, I TRY to get in a workout (the ONE thing our X-Box 360 is actually good for in my opinion!), but during the summer months that's hard because I have to go out first thing to take care of the animals (about a 20-30 minute job) and work in the garden (a time-variant job that can last from minutes to hours) before the heat sets in. Recently, I had a morning where there was no way to squeeze in a work out because I not only needed to take care of animals and work in the garden, but begin to finish canning the 60 pounds of peaches and blackberries my neighbors and I picked the week before. On top of that, I still had to make bread and granola, start laundry and try to get the kids started on their studies before sitting down to pound out a (another!) blog on the ACT.

My early morning routine exposes me to the quiet of nature where I can contemplate on life and this particular day was no different. 

As I worked purposely toward finishing my tasks, it occurred to me in really stark relief that what I was doing was considered kind of faddish today. Growing a garden, having chickens/animals - working toward a more independent lifestyle - these are things a small (but growing) percentage of the population do, but that wasn't the way it was even 50 years ago. Fifty years ago, Americans worked. I don't mean the kind of effort resulting in a wage, I mean beyond that. 

For example, a lack of available fast and/or processed foods meant that city moms and wives spent hours at a time in the kitchen preparing food for their families and husbands, while rural moms often had to add care of the family livestock and garden to their list of 'to-do's' for the day. Laundry sometimes meant using a washing machine to clean clothes but clean, wet clothes had to be hung out on a line to dry - a prospect that took considerable time - and some women used roller washers into the 60's and 70's, a process that consumed so many hours, families had far fewer clothes because that meant fewer clothes to wash! 

Today, machines do most of our 'work' for us - no use spending 40 minutes at the sink washing dishes when it takes just a few to load a dishwasher that cleans every dish using only the elbow grease it takes to push a button, for example.

This fact brought to mind Proverbs 16:27 (TLB) which says, "Idle hands are the devil’s workshop; idle lips are his mouthpiece."

Are the words of this Proverb not exactly truth personified in America today? 

Americans have little to 'do' anymore; dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, fast/processed foods and WalMart satisfy even our smallest needs without us even having to lift a finger other than flipping a switch or putting something into a wheeled cart and then onto a moving belt. Good grief, we even have cars that can parallel park for us!

When there is little for humans to do but wallow in our own existence, we humans begin to think less about God. The less we think about God, the less important He becomes. The less important He becomes the more important we become. The more important we become, the less important others become. Soon, every day of life becomes little more than the study of our thoughts, our ways, our goals, our behaviors.
Once we stop emulating HIGHER love, we automatically begin to mirror SELF and exhibit SELF love. 
An end result of "self-love" mentality is the manifestation of OFFENSE - it can be no other. When tuned in to ourselves, we must automatically put ourselves first. Once we're first, everyone else comes second
In 'selfie' mode, we become the star we orbit. 
As humans, our only light is a reflection of the greater light of our Creator (John 8:12). Once we turn our focus inward, the light is lost and we implode.

Though humans needn't have to put their hands to manual labor to worship/recognize God, we must strive every day - because of the fast-food, Facebook/Twitter world we now live in - to recognize our tendency toward 'selfie' behavior and even call it out in each other when we see it. 
There is light on the other side of the black hole that is self, but it's The Light (John 14:6) - we have only to gravitate toward it to save ourselves from ourselves.