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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Goodbye, Facebook and Netflix

Forgive me for a moment as I get a little spiritual on you. Ash Wednesday is tomorrow; Lent is looming large. The time for penance is approaching, and we've all got to figure out how little we can get by with and still make it count as penance. Whoops. No. That is the wrong attitude, in case you were wondering.

In addition to doing the extra things and the little things we all know we need to work on, we've got to choose the big things we're giving up. Two weeks ago, a voice niggling in the back of my mind, where I was eager to try to keep it, started saying: "Facebook, Netflix, Facebook, Netflix," and so on. Most unhappily, I've been confirmed in both convictions. I saw a post over on Life in the Gap that cemented the Netflix deprivation shortly to ensue; read it, and be convinced.

Then, last Wednesday, a book I picked up fell open to these words:
My Child, uncontrolled curiosity draws your attention away from your duties and brings needless distractions. It can waste a good deal of time and energy which you might use to greater good. It leads to pointless visiting and useless conversations. It fills the mind with so many empty distractions, which prevent you from freely receiving the holy thoughts and good desires which I send you throughout the day.
You would have great peace if you were less curious about things which do not concern you. One who is too interested in the sayings and doings of others, becomes forgetful of the glorious ideal which I present to him -- the ideal of pleasing Me in all things and thereby gaining eternal life.
Many things occur during the day which do not help you become a better person. What does it matter whether this one has a new garment or that one has failed in some personal project? Think of what concerns you, and of any good which you can do to others. Keep your heavenly goal before your mind, as far as your daily occupations will permit. Avoid idle words and useless activities.  (My Daily Bread, 167-168)
Definitely one of those "I am spelling it out for you in such a way you could not possibly misunderstand Me so don't even try" moments. And so, goodbye to Facebook. For now, anyway. Maybe, if my life seems much better without it, this is goodbye for good. But that's only a maybe.

I know a lot of you follow this blog through Facebook. If you'd like to keep up with it over the next 6 weeks, you can set it up so that each new post gets sent to your email (see the "Follow by email" white field at the top of the page).

But, in the meantime, a very happy Fat Tuesday to you all. I hope your day is full of drinks and alleluias and chocolate.


  1. Well, glad I now know you have a blog. :)

    And amen to the above. "My Child, uncontrolled curiosity draws your attention away from your duties and brings needless distractions..."

  2. a generous and selfish god
    and this blog -- are you "required" to expound for public edification or is this another "needless distraction?"

  3. Well, writing has always been a good thing for me to do, so I don't think I would say it's a needless distraction for me -- and I can only hope that it isn't for you! I did think of stopping for a while, but decided against it. And hey, if it ever happens to serve as public edification, that would make me very happy.

    Kind of amazing that He's selfish and jealous of our time. I mean, wow, He wants us to spend time with Him? Pretty awesome stuff.

  4. For Lent try: for some good sermons. (I spelled it wrong before.)