Friday, July 26, 2013

Stuff and Nonsense

A Serious Look at our Obsession with Distractions
Why "" Takes the Cake
{joining Jen for day #4 of the blogging challenge}

I've had thoughts lately that I should write a serious blog post. As in, one that is not about dinnerkids terrorizing something (usually me), farm animals terrorizing meor other such nonsense. But...that would be no fun, would it? I'd have to *think* about things, and about other's thoughts on things, and then write about them...and nobody wants that, do they?

People want more of this from their internets:


And less *actual* stuff like this, right?

For a lot of us, for a lot of the time, stuff like  and and (::gasp::) provide for us a good measure of distraction. [duh.] But what are we trying to be distracted from? I had a friend in grade/high school once tell me that she didn't like silence because it made her have to think about things. Important things.  

The reality is, that it’s a whole lot easier to consume the fluff than it is to pay attention, buckle down and do something, or be someone.


In Matthew Warner's Radical Life, he is in "messy pursuit" of the true, good, and beautiful. He's got a website, a FB page, and will send you weekly emails on "radical" living if you dare (or are naive enough to think you can handle this sweet momma!).
He's already gotten me to change radically the way that I use Facebook. I narrowed down friends, and un-clicked "show in newsfeed" on almost everybody on my list. (So...if I missed your awesome witty status, I’m sorry...!) I deleted the Facebook app on my iPad. What have I gained? I have to be more deliberate about my FB use. It doesn't take FOR-ever to scroll mindlessly through my newsfeed anymore. I have to seek out friends to connect with. More time. More meaningful. Hmm...
In this week's installment of radical living, we are encouraged to avoid the minimum requirements on life:
As I get older, I find myself becoming more and more of a minimalist. I want less stuff. I want less distractions. I want less good things in my life in order to make more room for the best things in life.  I'm becoming a big fan of that kind of minimalism.  But minimalism can also be bad. Like when it causes us to only put in the minimal amount of effort toward the most important things in our lives.  What's the least I can do and still be a good friend, husband or father? What's the least I can work and still be thought a good worker? What's the least I can give and still be considered a generous person?

True that, double true that. What's the least amount I can do, and still have time for me? Still have money for my own indulgences; still have energy for my projects?

It gets harder, folks:
It's even more insidious when we inevitably apply this attitude to our faith. What are the minimal requirements to still be considered a good Christian? What's the least I can do and still get to heaven?This minimalist approach will steal the sweetness from your life and ultimately make it boring, mediocre and unfulfilling.

And, here's the kicker: 

Rather, we should instead be asking what's the most I can do for my spouse? What's the most I can give to others? What's the most I can do for my friends and my children? That's where the bar should be set.

There are days (a lot of days) when my recent text to my sister holds true: "ennui doesn't even begin to describe it". It takes a lot to step out of ourselves, to get over our inner whiny, selfish self and do the most. It is So. Dang. Hard. But that's what we are called to do. We aren't called to be lukewarm. We aren't called to be pretty good at life. We're called to give it all, do the most, exceed the limits.

When I got this week's "Radical" email, I emailed my dear friend 
Marie right away. (She's the one who got me into this mess, after all!)  I complained that it was hard. Her response: "Yep. We're called to simply be the best. Sounds so easy, yet is so hard." 

Why it is that we’d rather spend our precious minutes scrolling through stuff like this:

Breakfast with Ron Swanson.
than making more time for those we love, (or at least sweeping up after them!) and the pursuits that will make us holier, I am not sure. (It's a whole lot easier, for one thing...) But what I am certain of is that when we do give up on the fluff, there is more room for the true, the good, and the beautiful. However messy it comes.


  1. Great observations! I too have been doing a lot of thinking about how I spend my time thanks to our friend's introduction to the Radical Life :)


Your comment gold brightens my day...