Disclaimer: I know that this blog post will defeat it’s purpose but maybe it can help us all take a second and think of what and why we share things with the world.
Christmas is over, decorations are stowed away in the attic or basement again. Christmas playlists are muted and there is way too much candy left for my sanity.
But there is one thing that still lingers in my mind, a scripture, and it has been there during this whole Christmas season. Let me set it up for you:
As the shepherds told Mary and other people of what they had seen and heard, it was made known abroad (as it should be) and people wondered at the things they heard, and here it comes:
”But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.”
- Luke 2: 19
I think this scripture can be a good reminder in today’s world of social media. Yes, certain things could and perhaps should be shared. But some things are better kept pondered in our hearts.
I can think of several reasons for keeping things to ourselves. Here are two:
Sometimes I think we share things because we want to portray a perfect life. We want people to think we are successful, healthy, rich, strong, adventurous or even spiritual. But what is really the purpose? How is this helping? I think we should all think before we share something why we share it and what effect it might have on the receiver and in turn I think we will keep things to ourselves more, maybe even learn to be in the moment rather having to document it.
My absolute favourite movie at the moment is The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. At one point in the movie he meets a photographer Sean O’Connell in the Himalayas who is there to photograph the snow leopard. The snow leopard appears and Sean and Walter sees it through the camera lens but Sean never takes the picture and explains that when he likes the moment for himself he doesn’t take it, taking the picture takes away from the moment, and in that way he can keep it to himself (another disclaimer: I am not saying not to take pictures, I am only saying to stay in the moment). Along with this is my favourite quote in the movie:
“Beautiful things don’t ask for attention”
Reason number two for keeping things to ourselves is that some things are God’s gift to you, just you, and it is sacred and I think we can learn to see it and appreciate it more if we log out more often from the digital world. If we are too eager to share something good that happened we perhaps miss an opportunity to ponder it in our hearts and learn even more from it. Again, we should share goodness, but that does not mean we should share all. Mary did share goodness, her son, with the rest of the world. But some things she only shared at the right place at the right time.
I am not trying to tell people what to do, but this has been something I have been thinking of and I felt right about sharing it only because it has helped me to put away my phone, not to bother too much about taking pictures but rather see the people I am with. At moments when I have thought about sharing things I have thought about why and sometimes I have shared and sometimes I have decided not to. I guess what I am trying to say is to do what Mary did, keep things, and ponder them in your heart before you decide to share it, I am trying to learn to do it and I feel like I appreciate and learn more by doing so.
Having said all this, I highly recommend to write a journal. That way you treasure up the things you have experienced and it can be a source of reminder and strength for you and generations to come.