2. The straw in our lives (1)

Last week I started with a new series about the three little pigs. One built his house of straw, one with sticks and the only one who kept on standing was the house built with bricks. I also asked the question whether your life was filled with straw, sticks or bricks? Which one consumes most of your time? I hope you spent some time last week answering that question for yourself.

This week I want to start with the straw that can fill one's life and eat at the time that you ought to be spending on the bricks. I am only going to discuss three main elements that I feel steal most of our time. There are obviously much more than these, but these are the ones I feel is most common amongst people. Whilst reading them, analyze your own life and identify the straw that steals your joy.

  1. 1. The internet and social media

Now before some of you want to stone me for saying this, please hear me out first. The internet and social media is a wonderful thing. Information is at hand, we can handle all our transactions through it, we can stay in touch with people who live in another part of the world, we can learn so much, we can stay in touch with world events and news, we can make money through using the internet and so I can go on and on. It is no doubt a good thing, you wouldn't even be able to read my blog if it wasn't for the internet. I cannot imagine a corporate world without the internet, it is totally unthinkable and it makes me wonder sometimes what our clever human race will think of next. But for now the internet is an irreplaceable part of our lives and social media an avenue to communicate with friends and loved ones far away.

But as anything in our lives, it can become too much. If the internet and especially social media replaces your contact with human beings around you, I have a problem with it. I would like to point out a few examples to bring my statement across.

A friend of mine works at a design company. She loves working there, but when I asked her about the people working with her she said they are okay. When I asked her to elaborate further, she simply said, "Well, they don't talk much really. When they want to ask/tell me something they email me even though I am sitting right next to them." Now I found that very interesting. God made us as human beings who interact with one another, who need one another. He made each of us with unique qualities that communicate with one another in interesting manners. He didn't make us loners who cannot look someone else in the eyes. We are human beings, made for interaction and if that interaction is through a cold computer, whilst we have the alternative to be polite and talk to the person right next to us, I have a problem with it.

Another example is when I went to say hallo to a friend of mine, her sister was visiting her from overseas. But the whole time I was there she was on Facebook.  The whole time updating her status and checking the status of everyone she knew to see if something changed in the meantime. I barely got a nod. Now I don't have a problem with Facebook per se, but when it is more important than the people around you, and most importantly your family around you, then I have a problem. She was on Facebook most of her stay with her sister and it made her sister feel less important than all her 'friends' on Facebook, which is very sad to me.

Also I have heard numerous times examples of men coming home from work, who slumps in front of the internet to search the net for the latest news and trends. I am not talking about men that come home that still need to finish work; I am talking about men putting general news on the internet and social media in front of their wives and children. The children are keen to spend some time with their father they haven't seen all day and the wife would like to chat about things with her husband, but he prefers the internet above them. I have a problem with that. Nothing should come ahead of your family, except God.

My husband has a coffee shop and he frequently tells me how couples don't talk to one another anymore. Whilst waiting for their order they are busy on their phones the whole time. Their phones consume the time that they could have related to one another and spend quality time together.

Last, but definitely not least, think about the time you spend on the internet, and now I am not talking about your working hours/ hours paying bills etc, but the physical time you spend simply 'surfing the net' or 'staying connected on social media'. Is it more than the time you spend with the Lord? If it is, then you need to start looking for ways to decrease your time because (maybe unknowingly) you are creating an idol, you are idolizing and valuing the internet and social media more than God. In the Old Testament times it was easy to recognize an idol and it is easy for us to condemn them today for worshipping dead wooden images. But today the internet can also be classified as a 'dead wooden image'.

It is with examples such as these that the internet and social media becomes straw to me. When the first wolf comes and blows at your house, in other words, if something comes and rattles your life, the internet will blow away very quickly. You need something more solid to keep you standing, and there is nothing more solid than our Rock, Jesus. Rather make time to spend with Him. It is definitely more lasting than your last 'tweet'!

Lord please give us the strength to value You and our family more than the internet and social media. It sounds so easy, but it is not. Please help us; we don't want an idol above You Lord. You are our all in all! Amen.

1 comment for “2. The straw in our lives (1)”

  1. Gravatar of MariskaMariska
    Posted Thursday, 10 March 2016 at 11:04:18 AM

    Dit laat my dink aan hierdie video met die naam 'Look Up' wat oor sosiale media gaan.

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