THINKING IN POSTS (from www.markrodriguezphotography.com)
I recently read a post by a favorite singer of mine that really got me. She was talking about how she’d reached a point of shocking realization that whenever anything cool happened, she would “think in posts,” basically meaning she’d start composing a tweet or pulling up Instagram to capture the moment.
I can really connect with this. I have had many moments in life where I’m just in awe of God’s glory, oftentimes when I’m alone in nature or after being with loved ones. Those moments are so personal and sacred, but sometimes, as strange as it sounds, I kill them by beginning to devise a post in my head. I start thinking about how I’ll phrase it, if people will “like” it, if I’ll get any comments in response. And by the time all that’s done, the moment is gone.
I’ve realized how simply sad it is to be a slave to social media. And I’m ashamed to say it, but I have definitely used Facebook and Instagram in the past as a place to give myself glory, to create an identity for myself that others will appreciate. And it’s such a bummer that there have been incredible, personal moments with God in my life that have ended as a couple hundred characters and a few hashtags just because I wanted to see what other people think of me, what they think of my life.
There’s a scene in the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty that struck a similar chord in me. Walter Mitty had been searching for this photographer Sean O’Connell the whole movie, and he’s finally found him perched up in a mountain, scouting for snow leopards through a lens the size of a cannon. Eventually, a snow leopard is seen through the lens, framed beautifully by snow capped peaks. Walter watches in eager expectation, waiting for O’Connell to take the shot. Finally, anxious that the moment is about to pass, Walter turns and asks:
“When are you going to take it?”
To which O’Connell replies: ”Sometimes I don’t. If I like a moment, for me, personally, I don’t like to have the distraction of the camera. I just want to stay in it.”
“Stay in it?”
“Yeah. Right there. Right here.”
There are so many incredible places and people all around me, so many blessings and moments that I can’t even fathom. When I stayed on an orphanage in Nicaragua for a month last Summer, I’d go out for these prayer times where I’d sit on a work bench, all alone, and just pray surrounded by ridiculous testaments to God’s wondrous ability to create. I remember one time I was just resting on that bench, relaxing in God’s presence, surrounded by beautiful mango trees that rustled as a light breeze filtered by. And I am so thankful I didn’t have my camera then, because there was overwhelming beauty all around me and nothing to take my attention off of it.
I don’t want to think in posts. I don’t want to be constantly checking to see what people think of my latest photo, or my latest status. Sometimes, I’ve just gotta turn off my radio, turn off my iPod, turn off my phone, and just be thankful, engaged with life and engaged with God. Because I know when I do that, I feel fulfilled in the most amazing way.