"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ninnies, Nerds, or the Amighty God

It has been said that we are known by the company we keep. The most influential forces on us are from our family and friends, so that we can truly be considered a product of all those we have met. This is the cause for one more step in the simplifying of my life process.
If you are a true Facebook user, you know that at some point your friends list can get totally out of hand. This happens when we accept too many “please be my friend” requests from people we know, people we know of, and people we don’t even know that are suggested based on our other friends. Without thinking about it, it’s easy to end up with hundreds and (even) thousands of friends. As these friends on your list grow and multiply, you find yourself sending birthday greetings to people you don’t really care about, responding to updates that normally would not interest you, and being drawn into chats with people who didn’t care about you in high school, but seem to love you dearly now.
It shocked me several weeks ago to realize I had a little over a thousand people on my friends list. Not that I’m not charming enough to have so many friends, but as I scrolled through the names, noticing how many I haven’t had any contact with for months, I decided (in the Facebook vernacular) to defriend many of them. I’m down to the 400’s now, which is still more friends than I need, but, I’m still working on it.
This can also apply to my Christian walk. I am a product of all the preachers, Sunday school teachers, music directors, and Christian friends that I have ever met. At times, I have taken their thoughts and theological opinions as my own without giving it a second thought. Just as in high school, I believed this way because the cool kids believed this way. Or, I believed this way because the cool preacher taught this way. Or, I’d get involved in this project because it is what seemed expected of me. After many years of this behavior, I found my Christianity becoming a huge point of stress.
As I began the process several months ago of intentionally simplifying my life, this was an area I needed to address. The stress level was so high at times, that I lost a lot of my connection with God. On Sundays especially. I spent a lot of time in thought, in prayer, and in talking to trusted friends about what to do and came up with my plan of action. So far, it is working….. slowly….but, working. I’m regaining my focus and the stress levels continue to drop. I am better about listening to people and accepting their words as God’s words. I try to remember what God wants of me as a person, as a disciple, and stick to His plan; not the plans of others. I’ve tried to narrow down those with whom I associate to those that have a true Christianity of love, joy, and peace. They aren’t the ninnies and nerds that I used to congregate around. I try to do my own reading of Scriptures and sound writers. And, as I said before, it is working. My world is becoming a little calmer, a little more peaceful, a little more God-like.
So, let me encourage you today to think about whom you listen to. Ninnies, nerds, or the Almighty God.
And for today my friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy.


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