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What Gives You the Right to Be Heard? And Our Fascination With Going Viral Instead of Being Alive

If we do this long enough, we enter a constant holding pattern where we become stagnant with observation instead of participation. We enter a room with a radar wondering, “How can I make this viral?” We squeeze personal moments into social media with the second-hand desperation of likes, reblogs and follows. Eventually, life is filtered into a continuum of opportunistic, superimposed cash grabs to gain approval from our following.

I do love blogging and I hope you don’t ever give up on it. But I have to remind myself to put my phone down. Quit recording everything. Quit the blog radar. Quit trying to write “beautiful” stuff to sound talented. Just soak in beauty. Be there. Be engaged. Be with. Be. I cannot consumerize every moment. I cannot throw my head into future formulations of the next post. I’m not a passive bystander to all that happens to me. This is it, right now, and then it’s gone. I want to be there when it happens.

Lately I’ve been trying to distance myself from people who squish their whole lives into their blogs. I’m afraid to be near them. I don’t want to be their material or their next allegory. I don’t want to be a secondary prop in their self-centered catharsis. I would rather do life together and keep it between you and me. I don’t need the world to know about all our midnight conversations. Some experiences are too profound for a blog post.

I’ve gotten really jaded to finding out that many “inspirational bloggers” are just jerks. I don’t trust easily anymore; I’ve been burned too many times. The level of viral-ness has nothing to do with a person’s value or integrity. But the most glorious miracle is when I meet a person who really cares. There are fellow bloggers I’ve met who didn’t hesitate to give me their number in times of crisis, who dropped everything to encourage me, who wrote long, loving letters and did not stop until I was OK. I read their blogs knowing they’re authentic people with sacrificial hearts. Their words move me because their actions moved me first. And that’s where I want to be. I want to be with the people who will roll up their sleeves because they’re inspired before they inspire others. That’s how life happens. That’s how you happen.  

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Former atheist/agnostic, fifth degree black belt, recovered porn addict, and youth pastor in Tampa, FL. B.A. in Psychology from USF and a MDiv from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Have a German shepherd named Rosco, can eat five lbs. of steak in one sitting, and gave away half my salary this year to fight human trafficking. I blog regularly on my main site and my Tumblr for struggling Christians.