The following observations are not just true of the social media world, but real human conversations that happen daily. I'm noticing Facebook and twitter interactions are generated easily on topics of kids' quotes, creepy-lazy-eyed naked dolls, foodie delights, every and any sports topic, entertainment of all kinds, and farts. Yes, farts. Did you just smile like a 5th grader, or scowl like librarian? Because I have this huge grin right now. I'm fully smiling. I just say the word, "fart," and have to smile.
(Pray for me).
Now, smelling them is a completely different topic. I will admit I have actually vomited due to a hand full of farts. Well, two farts to be exact. And yes, one of them was my own, but I won't go into detail unless I get a resounding bunch of feedback to do so. Which, based on this post, could just happen. (Ladies, wait! Don't click away in disgust, yet, it gets better. Men, this is what drew you in, wasn't it?).
Well, no, I don't.
We all know how funny, (most of the time, and at least for a few moments before the stench kicks in), those God-created, floating air biscuits can be. Especially when they come out of the bottom of a kindergarten child in the middle of "circle time." See my status from September 20th, here.
And let's be honest. When you wanna get a laugh, or a good reaction, break out the fart jokes. Tell a good self-deprecating story of a fart on a first date and you're the hit of the party. (Check this blog story out, you will pee, and fart, yourself laughing). Status updates about farts, sports, entertainment, and witty rants to the unknown person, (Dear Lady who cut me off), will always get lots of likes, "lol's", and Haha funny!" Both in real and virtual life.
Consider me guilty! I love all that stuff. (and will continue to generate such content:)
But when you want to do the exact opposite, when you want to completely stop a conversation (online or in real time), elicit comments, and initiate the immediate chorus of crickets chirping, say something about Jesus.
Cue crickets: ....Chirp. Chirp. Chirp.
Ok, that may be extreme. Or is it?
Let me just say,I'm so glad for those that regularly comment, and share stories of their experiences with God (along with witty postings discussed earlier). I also love engaging with others online who aren't following Jesus, but are interested in a genuine dialogue about God based those postings ( I love how social media can be used like that).
But it might just be me, but I notice a lack in these types of postings since returning to Facebook after my sabbatical. Obviously from my last post, I've been in a different place so maybe I'm just especially sensitive to these things. But wouldn't you agree that posts we poke fun at life are a lot more interesting to the facebook world then posts where people people ask for prayer (unless a person or pet dies, that people come out in droves), post scripture, or try to be vulnerable? Maybe it's just because that's what's really on our mind most of the time, so we post what's on our mind? (I don't really believe that).
I see a few people regularly write out scripture in their status updates. The comments are usually few. The equivalent of crickets in my opinion. So, intentionally I've been commenting and interacting with such posts. because I know as someone who posts similar things, it can be really encouraging to be on the receiving end of even something as small as a "like."
But, I admit, it's easy to pass those posts over scouting out for something juicy funny like those "Some E-cards." (How hilarious and right on are those at times?).
Because, come on, it's just easier, and safer, to not only post the silly stuff, but troll around for the comical comments and pictures.
It just may be too risky to post something deep, or take the time to comment on some one's spiritual authenticity online. For what if I comment get linked into something I'm not willing to be associated with? We may not post meaningful or spiritual updates for fear our boss, neighbor, or politically minded relative might get offended.
All too often I've thought, if I share my opinion, or detail what God is doing in my life, I get pigeon holed, or worse yet, what if someone deletes me because I virtually O.D. on God in my postings. (Some of you maybe be fully over THIS blog for that reason).
This type of sharing is risky, and requires a bit of commitment, boldness, and acceptance of what may come.
Otherwise it's just easier to refrain from saying anything at all.
Isn't this true in real life? What if I say too much about God? What if I get mocked for having my Bible in my cubicle, or get rejected trying to initiate prayer or talk about my church?
I've been so convicted both in the real world, and in the virtual world, with wanting to make the time to go be intentional about engaging with God, and engaging with others. And, this comes at a price.
What if we interacted intentionally MORE in real life AND in social media about real issues? What if we saw every conversation as the potential to go deep? Then what great stories we could share! We'd probably see a whole lot more interesting updates to comment on...........or ...not.
Ok, another online and real life observation.
One day, in a "Usual Suspects" kind of way, I noticed most of my posts' comments were all of the female species! I often notice that those willing to interact, share honestly, initiate prayer, and post about deep things are women. To date, all of the people who have come up to me in person to converse about my blogs, are, you guessed it, ladies! (Most of them are related to me, too. Thanks mom and mom-in-law).
What would I do with out you fanatic stay-at-home moms and smart phone working women, taking the time to shout out and share your responses online. (You obviously have the unfair advantage above men considering that you are so good at sharing your feelings and multi-tasking!).
But I must admit, one day, hovered over my laptop, I started having doubts about my manhood. Maybe I should be posting about bad referee calls, UFC fights, and monster trucks more or something.
Not sure what to make of it.
Or maybe I'm making a plea. Men? Please! Please?
Join me.I want to be a man of God, and join other men of God in this interaction. I welcome feedback from you men, and I expect it from you women :)!
So, what are you feeling right now? Are you are uncomfortable, ticked off, annoyed, bored, or even tickled (who says that besides my grandma?) reading this post. If you are any of those. Keep reading. I have one more thought.
How awesome would it be if the the apostles' writings would have included a fart moment with Jesus?
Yes, I said it. Fart and Jesus in the same sentence.
Ok, now I now I've lost some of you, and others are ready to write a letter to get me fired from PCC.
Simmer down, Pharisees, I'm just having some fun.
(And go and read my last post at the bottom # 10).
I mean, come on! You've never thought about it? Jesus was human. He got tired, he cried, he bled. I always wonder what it was like for him to deal with bathroom issues, especially in the 1st Century.
I think about it a lot. And I thank God for toilets and toilet paper.
Because if those moments were in the Bible, they would solve all my online comment insecurities and problems. And more men would be posting scripture! Think how many comments those postings would get? Luke 9:75..."and then Jesus farted."
Just imagine, Peter, John, and the rest of the twelve praying around a fire. Poor guys, it already smelled bad back in those days without deodorant and CK1. They had eaten their fill of fish and bread and Jesus would be teaching them about true discipleship, when all of a sudden he lets a huge one rip. Bartholomew begins to chuckle. James shoots him one of those "Sunday school teacher looks." Peter tries to hold it in but he can't help but burst out in laughter. Then Jesus would smirk, shrug his shoulders, and point the blame finger toward Judas and all the disciples would crack up! Judas would whine, "It wasn't me, everyone blames me," and he would storm out all mad. Jesus would say, "I'm just having some fun," and wink at the other disciples. He'd chase after Judas saying,
"Let's talk about it, Judas! We are men! We were meant to talk about these things. We can joke around AND be deep, too . "
Let the comments, or crickets, begin.