David Brooks ends the year in his columns with what he calls the “Sidney Awards.” He goes over long form essays and picks significant reads that stood out to him. This particular column stopped me cold from the start. It is a need I’ve felt for quite some time and realize I need to implement. 

Change. Immediate. Now.

He began with an essay from Andrew Sullivan. These words in the essay caught me and caused me to pull up and just think. Just. Think. Stop. Don’t read further. Just see those words and begin to understand…

Change. Immediate. Now.

Sullivan wrote:

And yet our need for quiet has never fully gone away, because our practical achievements, however spectacular, never quite fulfill us. They are always giving way to new wants and needs, always requiring updating or repairing, always falling short. The mania of our online lives reveals this: We keep swiping and swiping because we are never fully satisfied.

Brooks wrote this:

“Every December I read hundreds of long-form essays to select the Sidney Awards, and every year I regret I spend so much of the other 11 months reading online trivia. Then, every January, I revert to Twitter.”
My life is lived too much online. Way too much. I’m addicted to Facebook. I don’t know much about Twitter, but I have an account and check it regularly for some odd reason. I have Instagram for sharing photos, which aggravates me because I use my phone to take pictures when I have a great camera to take pictures, but don’t use it enough because I can’t upload my pictures fast enough to share!
This needs to stop.
Cold turkey.
My soul is not quiet. My soul is not listening. My soul is agitated.
My prayer life is anemic.
My physical body is decaying.
I keep swiping and swiping and my life is never fully satisfied. It has consumed me to an unreasonable point.
  1. My physical body is in horrible shape. I’m not sick. I’m not overweight by much. I’m just out of shape. I’ve committed to a gym and I’ve put money on the line. I will get there, get in shape and by next Christmas have a healthy body I can be proud of so I’m on a long-term trajectory that keeps me healthy for my family.
  1. I have to go back to physical things. Journaling has to have a pen and paper component in some way. My digital Bible is AWESOME because I can add in tons of notes, but it’s a distraction because I have to use my phone or computer and then I have the need to check my Facebook! ARGH!

    So, I need to get back the physical use of a Bible on a regular basis.

    I need to get back to prayer. The word I have from the Lord for this year is PREVAILING PRAYER. It is to learn another level of prayer that takes me deeper. I have been challenged in prayer since 2012 at a level I’ve not known. I’ve become lazy in the last year. That has to change. NOW. Not later. NOW.

  1. I don’t know that I can break away from social media altogether, but as we enter 2017 I have a time of fasting and prayer. Part of that fast will be social media. I just need to shut it off. I will still blog and my blog will post to social media, but I have to stay away! I have to let people know what I’m praying about and thinking about, but that doesn’t have to translate to the daily jitters over checking my Facebook.

    The only communication I will work at in the first part of January will be my blog.

  1. When it comes to blogging, I will discipline myself to write down my blog thoughts FIRST somewhere else. In a journal, on Evernote… SOMEWHERE. Write first. Think. Revise if needed. Post.
Things just simply need to SLOW UP. My addictions are too ingrained and they must be cut down to size right now.
Change. Immediate. Now.

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