My daughters are young mothers with five little girls between them. Recently, both of them deleted their Facebook accounts. They decided to “social distance” from “social media” and detach from the divisive diversions of mass culture. My youngest daughter described social media as making her feel scattered.
That resonated with me. My life, like yours, has been interrupted by a pandemic. Yet, with an abundance of alone time, I too am more scattered than ever. You think it would be the opposite. But a quick glance at social media often turns into a lost hour or two, and most the time it makes my blood pressure rise. And honestly, I’ve let it fracture my writing and quiet time.
Multiple studies link heavy social media usage with an increased risk for depression, anxiety, loneliness, self-harm, and even suicidal thoughts. The list of mental health issues caused by living under the stress of Covid-19 reads the same. Many of us are having a really difficult time right now, and we seem to compound it by getting sucked into the noise the world is making.
Now, more than ever in our lifetime, we need to be diligent, and awake to the difference between information and wisdom.
Zechariah tells us: Smite the Shepherd and the sheep shall be scattered. I believe that is what is happening. The enemy is working overtime devising devious ways to smite our Shepherd. Satan is creating so much noise, from anarchist mobs, to constant attacks on conservative values, and even silly divisions over our right to wear a mask or not.
All distractions designed to scatter us from our Savior.
Luke 24 teaches about two disciples of Jesus who walked to a village called Emmaus three days after the crucifixion. Cleopas, and his unnamed companion, with sand crunching under their sandals, conversed and reasoned together. They were so preoccupied, so scattered by current events, that when a stranger asked to walk with them, they didn’t recognize Jesus in their midst.
Conversely, Mary Magdalene watched Jesus die. She stood firm afterward while all other followers scattered. This steadfast expectation of what was to come showed her unwavering, devout discernment. She remained at the tomb, received the first visit from our risen Lord, and gave the other followers the good news. She stayed focused on the Shepherd, even when all seemed lost.
We have to show our own devout discernment more now than ever. We need to identify what scatters us, and realize its only tricksy noise the enemy is making. He’s trying to scatter us, make us betray our beliefs, and forget that we have a Shepherd that will lead us through it all.
I love this beautiful reminder by Helen Lemmel:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Guest post by author KD Holmberg