I used to manage social media for people. A friend and I started up a company that worked with authors, businesses, and musicians to manage their social media and marketing via networks such as Twitter and Facebook. It was a fun summer spent outside on the back patio at the home of a friend who was remodeling while being on tour with his band. But school started and I needed more income more quickly, so my part in the journey of entrepreneurship ended. My friend still plugs away at that company, building it slowly, arduously, from the ground up.
Because of that short term position, I understand the power of social media, for good and for bad. I spend too much time on Facebook, to be honest, it sometimes destroys my contentment. Twitter wastes much of my time as I invariably click away at posts by favourite authors and networks like the Resurgence and Desiring God. I’ve thus far refused to join Pintrest but I watch girls in class who are always adding to their boards and I know that would ruin my time management and contentment as much as the first two.
But these networks aren’t all bad. I have not quite released my grip on Facebook because it is useful in a number of ways. I am also decently committed to my Twitter account as it allows me access to articles and stories that are encouraging and convicting.
Stories like this one about Ian and Larissa. They were married even after Ian had a brain injury in 2006 and lost a number of physical and mental capabilities. I almost cried while watching it in the student center and I don’t think that’s simply stress from the end of the school year. I was struck by the beauty of their relationship and love–their commitment to each other and to God. In so many ways I look at their situation and it makes me almost envious to know that kind of love and devotion. Not envious because I want to experience that (though I do) but because I want to be like that.
Suffering is painful, no one desires it for a reason. In the west, especially in white suburban America, we have a pretty weak view of suffering. We don’t understand it, we avoid it, we ignore it. But in the midst of suffering there is such growth and beauty. I see it in the story of Larissa and Ian, I see it in my friends at school and church who are struggling through a variety of things. In all these different situations, my friends are becoming new people, greater and stronger in the faith–even when that means admitting their weaknesses. Even when life seems to come apart, God is always reconstructing it and making all things new. He suffered as one of us and he knows our pain. Not only does he know it, but he is always working in it to make something good come of it, for our sanctification and for his glory.
I’m on social media sites and I read blogs because they remind me, even in the midst of finals week in grad school and great exhaustion both mentally, physically and emotionally that God is here, in all things, and he is working.
soli Deo gloria.