Disclaimer: Opinions expressed by website attributed with the photo credit are their own, FSS does neither claim to advocate or disagree with them explicitly.
So we confront each new day, and this article hits closer to home to some of us more than others, but overall a lot of us can use a reminder. If you take a few days off Twitter, Facebook, iPad games, PC games, online friends we barely thousands of miles away, etc… the world will not implode. Life goes on if you don’t keep up with the latest trend on front-page news sites. It’s okay not to know where the DOW J closed yesterday, to be oblivious to where the S&P 500 left its’ mark as well. Most prudent investors tend to choose long-term investments that are likely a good mix of conservative growth stocks with a few calculated risk stocks mixed in their basket of diversified goods. Then they further choose the time horizon based on when they would like to retire. If you’re retiring in 10 years, your portfolio is going to look quite less aggressive on the whole than someone who is retiring in 30 years theoretically. The one with 30 years can see the market perform over a longer time horizon, and the one with 10 years has less time and therefore should have more conservative investments. Investing is one of the superfluous things I would mention, because some people are a slave to checking to how their stocks have done. Let go of that cellular phone or PDA. If you’re not going to change any positions, what’s the point of concerning yourself with day to day fluctuations? You’re only inviting some extra worries into your life.
A lot of us, myself included, have used Twitter and/or Facebook to promote our personal brand, endeavors, and communicate closely with friends. We’ve decided that the benefits outweigh the cons and actively use these social networks to get the word out on what we hold to be important items to share. I’ll take my example for starters, I think there’s a high value in sharing the gospel. There’s a high value in sharing scriptural references, I am fulfilling the Great Commission and I actually believe online evangelism is a significant part of it for me at this time in my life. If I can positively impact a few people and draw them closer to Jesus Christ or lead someone who is unsaved to consider the Gospel, I have already considered it a success. Now I have about 880 followers on Twitter @Fatherspiritson at the time of this writing and around 150 friends on Facebook as well as 25 people who follow my writing endeavors at www.facebook.com/VnunezWriting.
These are modest numbers at best surely, but I am able to share my writing with my friends and the friends/acquaintances I have made on Twitter can also see what I am up to when I post about it too. They’re also slowly but surely growing and I feel blessed to have these small platforms to build off of. You have to start somewhere, and there’s no problem with me in starting relatively small. I normally consider those I friend on Facebook to be more personal friends. I actually have met a large chunk of these people in person, or I have known them online for a significant amount of time, it’s not a place where my goal is to reach like 2k+ friends. It’s just not practical, I don’t want to see that in my newsfeed and I don’t want to even pretend to keep up with that many people. True friends that last a lifetime can likely be counted on both your hands in a good situation, I don’t think it’s wise to have a ton of fake friends. Be realistic about it, how many of those 2,000 Facebook friends would consider visiting you at a hospital, take a call of yours at 3am to help you with a significant issue in your life, or go out of their way to help you when the going gets tough? Some of these questions will help you answer who the real friends are as opposed to the acquaintances or the casual friends.
There’s nothing wrong with having casual friends, but a line should be drawn realistically in your mind as to whom falls where, and it’s not a matter of their embarrassment or yours. It’s a reality of living. If you’d like to have higher quality friends, be a higher quality friends to the right people. Notice I said the right people, some people are plenty willing to take but not willing to return those favors. Identify who is receptive of your help but is also willing to reciprocate from time to time. It doesn’t necessarily have to line up perfectly, but by all means keep in mind that it’s a two way street and you shouldn’t be the one always doing the giving and not ever getting anything back. We’re not perfect beings and realistically we need help pretty often. Keep that in mind when you choose your “inner circle” of friends, you don’t want people who feel like leeches. You don’t want the people that you don’t have a high confidence sharing news with for fear of their reaction. You want people who will embrace a wide range of your life happenings and give you no fluff reactions with a real perspective behind it.
Friends aside I think it’s important to remember that as much as your friends might love you on both Facebook,, Twitter, Pinterest, or any other Social Media network you find yourself actively involved in – none of these sites will skip a beat if you take a few days off to get your mind clear of the grind. I am speaking out to high volume users now. You get caught up doing what you feel is bringing a large benefit to your personal endeavors or better yet endeavors for Gods’ glory, but you haven’t given yourself enough time away from it to clear up your head and relax. Rest is important, God rested after the sixth day of Creation. This is not to say he necessarily needed to rest, but He in his omnipotence decided to do so. How much more as children of God should we take breaks and rest, even if it’s not the Sabbath day? Consider that we are vulnerable to clinging on to habits and making them an every day routine. It’s easy to submit to the routine and keep riding the treadmills of life. I challenge you, and myself as well, to look at what that routine is and break it once in a while.
Do you need a day or two? A week? A month? It honestly depends how saturated by it you feel. Sometimes just opening an e-mail inbox can be quite daunting. All of these proposals or obligations for work, and you already feel as though you’re committed to all sorts of activities that you didn’t really sign up for. Ideally a vacation away from all of it would be amazing, but if you don’t have that luxury, at the very least cut down and simplify your life. Are you an every day blogger? Maybe let your readers know that you’d like to take a week off to meditate on Gods’ word? Tell them you need the space. They’ll understand, and the ones that don’t can take a hike. Realistically what’s the worst that can happen? You may lose a few followers or something, big whoop. You’ll get them back when you return to activity. It’s not going to make or break you and the peace, clarity, and relaxation that you derive from extricating yourself from this superfluous obligations will help you come back with renewed vigor and a more practical mindset. You’ll also solidify that it hasn’t become a roadblock in your relationship with Jesus Christ.
Ultimately we need to have a strong personal relationship and no matter how much we do in this life we cannot add to what has already been done for us on behalf of Gods’ son Jesus Christ when he died for our sins. Once we’ve accepted His free gift we certainly feel compelled to reciprocate on that beautiful gift and follow the lead that He elaborates on for us in His word, but He doesn’t need a single one of us. We’re blessed beyond measure to have the opportunity to store up heavenly treasures, what a beautiful privilege to fill this role in Gods’ kingdom. We’re nothing and yet He sees the potential in us. He gives us the attributes we need to execute our calling in life.
We cannot earn salvation by our works. We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Don’t be afraid of losing your salvation because it cannot be lost. Trust God at His word and know that you are saved. When you help the poor by giving of your time, money, or abilities that God sees you are helping the “least of these”. This is not time wasted, this is time invested in Gods’ kingdom. Likewise if you find yourself inspiring current believers to further their walk you’re fulfilling a very important role in Gods’ kingdom, in fact I sincerely believe that’s one of our key callings here at FSS. Additionally the possibility that many of these articles may inspire non-believers to see what the Christian lifestyle is about encourages me highly, knowing that it can grab their attention as well.
In the end I think this article serves as a reminder not to allow yourself to get over-saturated by your life obligations. Even the obligations that are near and dear to your heart can easily burn you out if you try too hard at them. Let God fill you with His Holy Spirit, offer you peace and tranquility in knowing Him, and give you the green-light when it’s time to regroup and move forward. I sometimes get caught up in wanting to be constantly moving and productive, I need to remind myself life doesn’t work that way. I learned the hard way that you don’t conquer the world in the day in the past, I am taking this lesson as part of my testimony to remind others that they should figure out what pace works for them. By all means I am also not trying to encourage laziness or apathy, but I think there’s a happy medium to be sought that involves serving God, building His kingdom, and not ignoring the beautiful gifts that He has given us in order to do our part.
The last thing I wanted to mention in this piece is that it’s perfectly fine and acceptable to say “no” from time to time. If someone asks you for a favor who you value as a friend, our propensity will be to say yes and help them out in their situation or to contribute in that area. This also applies to church endeavors, occasionally you will want to be involved in some of the activities that could accomplish great things, but other times you may be better off saying no to them. It could be that you do or do not have a specific replacement activity in mind. Maybe you just want to take that day off to finally take a break from some of the grinding aspects of life that can seem tedious or mundane once in a while. Maybe you’re just borderline overwhelmed with taking care of a marriage, children, or managing your activities at school – why add one more activity to that when you don’t have to? I think maximizing our time here on earth involves seeing what we are best at and dedicating a lot of time to that craft or endeavor. Don’t waste time by compromising that possibility by saying yes to things that might just make a few more people feel better. I don’t go to church or participate in church activities to make my church friends feel better. I do what God puts in my heart to do, and I enjoy their company once in a while too, but I don’t put it a burden upon myself to get involved in every part of the journey. I am called to write, I wouldn’t mind participating in some of the activities that God leads me to get involved in or I feel inspired to do so because they might be fun. What I don’t pretend it is, is that every extra activity is an utmost calling in my life. That’s not being realistic, I don’t choose the full rotation of activities and I don’t think they all have equal value. Be a friend, focus on areas that you may be able to help, but ultimately pursue the calling that God has placed in you. Don’t let anybody tell you what that is, prayerfully seek Gods’ face and wisdom on the matter.
Once you’ve balanced taking a good number of breaks from the saturation of internet social media, you shut down the laptop or iPad once in a while that you find it a habit to spend too many hours on, and you learn to say no to those areas that might not fit in with your schedule – you’ll realize that God has designed us to enjoy some down time with Him in solitude sometimes. Maybe your favorite way to enjoy this time is listening to praise and worship music while you sing. For another person it might be silent time spent in reading scripture and meditating on it. Yet another might invest this time in prayer so that they will receive Gods’ guidance on what to do next in their lives. I think one of the best is sitting in stillness knowing God is perfect and that He has every aspect of our lives under His authority and control. It’s easy to forget through life’s hustle and consistent concerns that He is in charge of every little detail and every large thing plus all that is in between those two extremes. Know that He is God, fear Him, and sit in stillness. Talk about real rest. Better yet grab a quieter place, find a place in Gods’ creation. Go to a place in nature where you have no obstructions and breathe in the ocean breeze or the isolation in front of your eyes where you can hear birds singing, see animals skirmishing about, and all there is to mention is you, perhaps one or two loved ones, and a bench. Maybe it’s not even a bench, maybe you went deep enough where it’s basically a wooden log (be careful with snakes). It doesn’t get much better to disconnect than that. I am a big proponent of regular exercise, but biking is also fantastic in the sense of taking in fresh air and exploring new areas. Might even find a place to come back later for the rest of doing nothing.
You know your limits, embrace them and take life at your own pace. Trust Gods’ guidance and avoid unnecessary over-exposure to media.
– Victor M. Nunez