Look up

One of my New Year's resolutions for 2012 (and every year, let's be honest) is to increase the regularity with which I study the scriptures (and this year, I'm including the Ensign -- the monthly magazine circulation by my church).

I've started reading on my iPhone (the Gospel Library ap works well for me!) on the subway during my morning commute. It may not be the most ideal time-slash-place to study--it is loud, I'm standing or rather stumbling around half of the time, and the highlighting function on the touch screen is a little tempermental-- it's just the best time for my current phase of life.

Long introduction to the point of this post, this morning I read a few articles from this month's Ensign and this entry was particularly poignant and in-line with some things I've been thinking about lately.

The world we live in today has all kinds of measurements—most of them external to us. I think such measurements can be especially harsh to young adults. You go to school and earn a grade, but that doesn’t necessarily take into account what else you experience in your other classes or your family or your life situation. Sometimes we’re judged by the way we look or by the car we drive. We might base our sense of self-worth on how many friends are writing on our wall on social networking sites.... It’s easy to get caught up in trying to please others, but we can’t trust such external measurements; the world can be too quick both to praise and to criticize. 
I think the challenge for all of us...is to try not to look sideways to see how others are viewing our lives but to look up to see how Heavenly Father sees us. He doesn’t look on the outward appearance but on the heart (see 1 Samuel 16:7). And He knows, better than anyone else, what each one of us needs. (Elder Carl B. Cook)

In the world of blogging and other social media, where our lives can be so public and the whole world, literally, can praise and criticize, it's so very easy to look sideways. I find it quite a dilemma as I want to use such platforms for good--a good outlet for me, good PR for the Church, a good way to stay in touch with family and friends--while NOT using Blogger statistics or the number of comments on my Instagram feed as the measuring stick of my worth. Add on top of that trying to not compare myself with  some e-famous siblings of mine and not coveting their following.

In the words of a modern-day prophet, Thomas S. Monson, I foolishly turn my back on the wisom of God when I "follow the allurement of fickle fashion, the attraction of false popularity." It's not good for my psyche or my spirit.

I just have to remember why I do what I do (and not hold myself to unrealistic standards of the frequency and quality of my posts--related to another resolution). That this really is an outlet, and two-fold at that. It's a good place to let out what's inside of me and a place where family and friends can plug in to get an update on what I'm up to. Look up to God instead of sideways for validation and value.

In sum, “Amidst the confusion of our age, the conflicts of conscience, and the turmoil of daily living, an abiding faith becomes an anchor to our lives.” President Monson. So wise.

1 comment:

The White Silk Purse (Dana) said...

I love to read your writings. You are thoughtful, direct, and loving all at the same time!

I always look forward to your posts.