Monday, February 8, 2016

From the Inside Out

Whenever I fly back to CA from Washington, DC or from anywhere for that matter, I LOVE taking pictures from the plane.  I'm sure I get a few puzzled looks, but I love looking at the landscape and the clouds outside while seated (not always so comfortably) inside the plane.  As we begin the journey of Lent this Wednesday, looking at our own lives from the inside out is essential as part of our faith journey.  It is a time of examining who we are, reaching deep into our core then working our way back out as we die to our old selves as we reach towards the hope and promise of resurrection on Easter.  While Lent can be seen as a time of repentance, it is a time of going deeper spiritually and a time of seeing where we can improve and grow closer to God, even if it means walking that lonesome valley with Jesus.

Lent is also typically a time of giving something up, or adding something.  As I have been contemplating what I want to give up to help me become closer to God, I have decided to give up social media (Facebook and Twitter in particular).  I have been finding that I really do spend a lot more time on Facebook and social media than I need to which could free me up to actually have face to face conversations with people, or conversations with people on the phone (i.e. my parents).  But this time away from social media can also help me seek answers to the question, "who am I?" I have to admit there are sometimes I struggle with this question, as sometimes I'm not sure I entirely know who I am.  Perhaps it's my lack of self-confidence, or because I'm so easily swayed and influenced by what people think of me that I feel forced to conform just to fit in.  Or because I see others and how they live or how good they have it, that I want to emulate them which doesn't necessarily work.  It's time to look from the inside out.

In some of my self-reflection, one practice to add during this time of Lent is to stop worrying what others think.  In his book, Last Call: From Serving Drinks to Serving Jesus, my friend Rev. Jerry Herships speaks out in several places throughout the book that we have to not worry about what others think.  Perhaps that's one of my biggest character flaws and perhaps the Lenten journey is a start towards fixing some of those flaws, in which time away from social media could help.  It's a chance to stop worrying about what others are doing, but also gives me a time to look inward, or as one of my friends once told me, take a long look in the mirror.  What can I see from the inside on out?  As I take a break from social media, I hope to get back to this blog a little more regular.  At the same time, I encourage each of you to think about your own inward self.  What do you see when you look at yourself from the inside out?

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