I've never had a blog before - ever. I'm not even a "blog-aholic." I've had an aversion to the craze going on over the internet with all things blogs, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and personal webpages. The reason is simple: narcissism or self-absorption. I can't stand that side of our Western culture that's crying out - around the clock - "Look at me!" It reminds me of a little girl my wife and I interacted with about ten years ago.
We were visiting with her parents in their basement after dinner, and, while we were trying to have a conversation, she stood on an elevated ledge and kept shouting incessantly at the top of her lungs, "WATCH ME!!" Because her parents lacked skill and wisdom in training children (which was evident at dinner time as she and her twin sister ran circles around the table and even put a piece of cream pie on their father's chair when he stood up to momentarily do something, deviously thinking it would be funny and then laughing hysterically when he unknowingly sat back down on some dessert), they continually put up with her rude, self-centered, and obnoxious behavior. Adding to my analogy with social media, every time (and I mean every time) we'd all turn our faces to acknowledge her screaming demand for attention, her moment of the spotlight had no substance, just jibber-jabber that was neither discernable nor remotely profitable (even in a redeeming, child-like way, as we often do with children who "perform" for us - i.e., "Oh, thanks, Charlie. That was a nice song!"). She just wanted - no, demanded - our gaze. But once we gave it, I was embarrassed for and frustrated with her...that she ever demanded our attention in the first place!
That, to me, illustrates our craze with ourselves today through the vehicle of technology and its outlet of social media. It's one of the reasons I loathe what I so often see on a FB post when I sneak a peak. "I ate pancakes this morning while listening to Michael Jackson's Billie Jean." What?? Who cares! But then, when I see Christians falling into this labyrinth of self - drowing us all in the monotonous details of their lives - then I want to scream! But I don't want to join the millions (or is it now billions?) screaming, "WATCH ME!" No, I want to shout, "Stare at him - living perfectly, bleeding for your sickening rebellion, rising for your everlasting victory, ascending for your eternal comfort! Look to Jesus - not yourself - for only there is freedom, joy, and fulfillment found! And if you're going to demand my attention, make sure you're redirecting me to Him!"
Now, let me say this: it's fun to make contact again with old friends. It's phenomenal to follow amazing leaders and gain wisdom and resources through their ministries, research, and connections. The world has shrunk and we all feel more informed and connected (in an albeit superficial, technological way).
I'm after motivations, though. That's why most of us aren't worth paying attention to on the web. I don't read anyone's blog regularly but Al Mohler's. I don't want to follow anyone on Twitter except for those individuals who really have something to say. I don't have a FB account. I don't have time for all things social media!
So, I can hear the critic say, "Why are you writing this blog?" Good question. To be honest, I'm seeing if I can primarily impact the little flock I pastor to a greater degree. This blog really isn't for the masses. (The masses don't care.) I now Tweet and blog to be in the ear - in a loving, shepherding way - of my sheep in a Monday through Saturday manner. If I feel - after an extended period of trying these amoral, technological vehicles out for a season - that no one is edified in Christ or sees gospel growth from them (and I'm just talking to myself), I'll lay them aside to better spend my time - and my people's time - on other things that will help us fix our eyes on the author of the gospel (Heb. 12.1).
In this spirit, I want to share a video from a song that's become an anthem for me as a Christian man, husband, father, and church-planting pastor. You could say it's the anti-athem of contemporary social media and self-engrossed culture. It brings tears to my eyes and great gospel-aspiring emotion to my heart almost every time I listen. Let it be your anthem if you have sworn absolute allegiance to the swollen, blood-caked, gasping Savior who died two thousand millennia ago for your narcissism...and rose to make you radically absorbed with Himself. Let your boast be not in yourself...but in Jesus.