Last week I preached on a “vintage” way of looking at relationships. Basically I was saying that we need to unplug more and make the extra time to meaningfully connect with people. This means call more than text, and meet face to face as often as possible. You know, going old school!
There is one relationship that I didn’t mention in the sermon: our relationship with ourselves. Technology has made us more connected than ever, but many people feel more isolated and lonely than ever. We are also more disconnected from ourselves than ever. In a nutshell, we need to stop and reflect. OK, let’s be honest – we rarely stop and we don’t have time to reflect!
Blaise Pascal, a Christian mathematician and philosopher who lived in the 1600’s, wrote that humans don’t like to slow down and reflect. Instead, we fill our lives up with “diversions” to distract us. He believed that if we spent time reflecting that we would discover that we are miserable without God; we have an internal ache and longing that only God can fulfill. We are running away from ourselves and filling our lives up with diversions. Now I am not sure how many diversions there were in the 1600’s, but I am sure there are a lot more now! We are running away from ourselves. I wonder if most of us are strangers to ourselves.
There may be some reasons you would not want to spend time with yourself:
- It is more fun to listen to people complain about their lives and post food pictures on social media
- Time by yourself is super boring
- You could think of more interesting people to spend time with
- You may not like some of what you find if you look inside (don’t worry, Jesus will forgive it all)
- You don’t know how to cope with life without the peaceful glow of a screen in front of you
- You think only loners spend time alone
- You can’t stand the smell of your own bad breath
You can overcome all of these reasons! Maybe this would mean turning on some music and just thinking. Maybe it means going for a walk. It definitely means taking some time every day to think and reflect. Why do you do what you do? What did you do right today? What did you do wrong? Do you understand what is going on inside of yourself?
The journey with Jesus is a journey away from selfishness and a journey deeper into your own soul. Jesus wants to show you all of the mess and beauty that is inside of you. He wants to show you what needs to be repaired inside of you, but you have to see the problem before it can be fixed. When we read Scripture, God uses His word as a “mirror”: you hold your life up and see how it lines up with Jesus. Where it doesn’t, you allow Jesus to make needed changes.
God wants to introduce you to… yourself. Yep – yourself! Stop running away from one of the best people you know. You are an amazing, loved, forgiven, beautiful, talented person!