The Spiritual Practice of using Social Media

— Midweek Meditations:
thoughts, inspiration and encouragement
from ACF community members —

End of November 2018: I was getting frustrated! It had dawned on me: I was facing yet another advent that would run through my fingers like grains of sand. Just like in recent years it wouldn’t leave any impact on my heart – despite all the willpower and good resolutions. Since childhood, advent had been my most cherished time of the year, yet with a growing family and an ever expanding amount of obligations those weeks of December had lost some of their meaning and wonder for me. Hadn’t I vowed to myself to never let this happen?

The Lord is close to all who call on him,
yes, to all who call on him in truth.
He grants the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cries for help and rescues them.

Psalm 145:18-19

As God does, he sent help from an unlikely source: he had me stumble across the #adventword challenge on Instagram. I had never been an avid social media poster, yet felt compelled to drive right into this different kind of advent calendar. Every day a word was given as a prompt and people all over the internet shared what came to mind for them: photos, drawings, prayers, poems, thoughts.

It turned out to be just what I needed:. Meditating over the daily prompt word, choosing a picture, writing about it. I embraced this daily habit, and in turn it started to embrace me. The process invited my soul to dance, breath and expand – not just briefly in the morning during my quiet time, but interwoven within the ins and outs of my daily life.

Naturally I have asked myself if all this needs to happen on social media. Wouldn’t a notebook do the trick too? Whilst I would still ponder confidential matters in my journal, the public platform has some advantages. For starters, there is a the sense of accountability that motivates me to keep going. My newly found daily routine helped me to practice vulnerability, to put myself out there, to find my voice.

In doing so, I learned first hand that honesty breeds connection and freedom, and not shame. This lesson started to gently infuse the way I approach my real life relationships. Moreover, seeing others resonate with what I share may occasionally bring some much-needed validation to an idea that so far only existed in my head. During those past two advent seasons I have gotten to know myself better and experience God in some wonderful and significant ways.

Some could still argue whether using social media can really be called a Spiritual Practice. I’ll let you be the judge of that for yourself. This is what Wikipedia has to say about it:

“A spiritual practice (…) is the regular or full-time performance of actions and activities undertaken for the purpose of inducing spiritual experiences and cultivating spiritual development. (…)”

I pray that each of us will discover a practice or mindset this year that fills advent with peace and a renewed connection to God, ourselves and our (virtual or real life) community.

So, what will your anchor be during these special few weeks leading up to Christmas 2020?

  • Find out more about the #adventword challenge 2020 – click here
  • Join others from the ACF community as we embark on our very own advent journey, called “Do Not Be Afraid”.
  • Or enter this season with an open heart let yourself be surprised by God’s gifts to you.

Have a blessed Advent 2020!

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