I have recently taken two steps back from Social Media. I distance myself not because of politics, or offense. I haven’t wavered from my philosophy of love. I distance myself because God is nudging me, whispering in my ear. I took one step back, and then another, for a bit of solitude and spiritual healing.
Funny how I long for solitude these days. Each day, I speak to a hundred people, or more. This constant flow of energy leaves me spent. My social media distance is paired with zero television. If you’ve read my first book, In the Garden with Billy, you know that I punted cable television a long time ago. Frankly, I haven’t the time to sit in front of the television. There are only so many hours in our short time on this earth. I have people to love, lives to help, and goats to feed. Still, the world pulls at me. Last week, I was reminded of something my friend says, the world is trying to take away my Jesus; meaning the more time spent in the world, the more time it demands. The more time spent in the world, the more I act like the world, and the less I act like Him.
This, my friends, is a command from long ago. . . come out from among the world and be set apart.
For me, the media silence serves a higher purpose, to keep my mind in the present, and my eyes on Him. I have found that if I take my eyes off Him for a single day then one day quickly becomes two days and so on. After doing things “my way” I find myself lost calling, “Lord, where are you!”
The Lord is always where I left Him. It is I who must return.
Earlier this year, a friend posted her resolution which went something like this. She was going To Be.
Those two simple words carry an enormous challenge. Dear Ones, it is very difficult To Be.
I’ve thought about those words, and the challenge they carry. Then I added a single word behind them. I want . . .
To Be Still
To Be Fervent
To Be Authentic
To Be His
I understand now that the world has a goal. The world wants to keep me (and you) busy, beat down, frustrated, angry, exasperated, depleted. The word accomplishes this, daily.
The world is like a pitching machine, hurling one fastball after the other. Just when we make contact and smile as the ball sails over the fence, the world fires a curve-ball, knocking us into the dirt leaving us exhausted, dazed and disoriented. Here lately, the world has convinced us this type of life is normal. Today, I disagree. Today, I turn a blind eye on the ways of the world and turn a watchful and trusting eye toward Him.
Today, I give myself permission to be set apart from the world.
Today, I give myself permission to be happy.
Today, I give myself permission to be authentic.
Today, I give myself permission to be His.
Today, I step away from the pitching machine. I drop my bat in the dirt. I look at the world and say, No more.
The Good Lord has reminded me that I don’t need a political cause. I don’t need to scream like a banshee to help those in need. Show me where Jesus screamed. Show me where he unfriended people. Show me where Jesus was nasty. My Jesus― the one the world is trying to take from us all―loved the least of these. Our Jesus hung out with those whom the world shunned. The Light of This World, physically healed them. He raised the dead. He performed miracles. He LOVED.
As Southern grandmas are wont to say, we accomplish more with honey (meaning love), than with vinegar (meaning anger).
Anger exhausts. Love empowers.
Today, I give you permission to be. Go on now, unplug from the world and go. . . Go be love.
Southern grandmas know that this world will devour every ounce of energy you offer; yet, energy deposited into the Lord and His children (meaning everyone) is never wasted. Spiritual renewal benefits me, and everyone around me.
Today, I will pray. I will listen. I will act, and I will continue to show others His love.
I will try—very much so― To Be.
To Be Renewed.
To Be Love.
To Be His hands and Feet.
For me, the only way I can do this is to turn a blind eye and walk away from the ways of the world and purpose to love the people Jesus places in my path.
Renea will donate the proceeds of her Christmas Story: A HardscrabbleChristmas and In the Garden with Billy to the victims she met at The Distribution Center in Gatlinburg Tennessee. Download it here.
Renea Winchester is a traditionally-published author of three books. She is a Jesus lover, a gardener, and a giver of hugs. She may be reached at P.O. Box 404, Webster NC 28788