I did something last week that I used to do much more of: I read books. Actually, I read two books and in an ironic twist, they could not have been more different. My landing on the social network led me to read The Accidental Billionaires, the story of the founding of Facebook. As a supplement to my devotional time, I've been reading The Practice Of The Presence of God, by Brother Lawrence. The Accidental Billionaires revolves around the Harvard students who devised, instituted, and developed the program that one might say has changed the fabric of human interaction in our society. Their story was one of greed, deception, lust, and ambition. (It should be noted that some of the key figures refused to speak to the author and some dialog is based on documents and speculation rather than word-for-word quotations.) On the other hand, Brother Lawrence, a European monk who lived more than three hundred years ago, renounced worldly wealth and lived his life in constant prayer to the Lord. His life revolved around serving God and nothing else. The contrast between the two books and the worldviews they spotlighted could not have been more stark.
It's easy to sit and judge people you've never met just by reading a book. The accuracy of the writing can be debated and the slanting of information to prove a point can shed light on the author's own outlook on life. I'd like to think I'm like Brother Lawrence, not necessarily on every theological tenet, but akin to him in his absolute focus on God. I'd like to but I can't honestly make that statement. The practicality of spending most of your time in a monastery would not work for me, anyway, but if you read my devotionals, you know I struggle with distraction issues. The depiction of the lives of the now famous (some more than others) Harvard undergraduates- greed, deception, lust, and ambition- can be chapters in my own biography and maybe yours as well. These are characteristics that dominate our media whether movies, tv series, or reality shows. Brother Lawrence seemingly was not affected by any of these. Fast forward to 2011: What if Brother Lawrence had a Facebook page? What would his activities and interests and relationships say about himself? Would he have alot of friends? Would he get poked and tagged and all these other things I haven't figured out? My guess is these things would not matter to him unless he perceived they brought him closer to the Lord. And I would also guess the writings of Brother Lawrence will remain with us when Facebook has run its course.
Applicable quote of the day:
"To worship God in truth is to recognize Him for being who He is, and to recognize ourselves for what we are."
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org