If you have seen my Instagram lately, you will see pictures of coffee, another country, and me looking into the distance (most likely laughing). I have a confession to make. None of those pictures were taken on a whim, nor sporadically posted. I never thought I had a problem with posting on social media. I spaced things out, I cut out the selfies, and only tried to post if the moment was going to bring joy to the ones viewing my pictures or statuses. Not until I found myself at the latest coffee shop I explored did I see that I had a problem. For the length of time I was there, the only thing I did was have my phone in my hand, trying to get an insta-worthy picture. I only stopped when my coffee was starting to get cold. Then after a few sips, started snapping pictures again.
I know I’m not the only one to have done this before. Instead of enjoying my company at this coffee shop, all I could think about was how many likes I would get or if that boy that I had been crushing over would notice. I realized that I spent more time living for the moment, instead of in the moment.
Why do we want to go on adventures? Why do we go explore new places? Why do we always make sure our phone/camera has enough battery when we go anywhere? My guess is that a majority would answer the same way: we live for the moment. Living for the moment is not necessarily a bad thing. I love to go on adventures and explore new things, and I do like for others to take part in that through my pictures and statuses, but it gets to a point where our followers are more important than the adventure itself. God never created that mountain or that beach for you to get the glory. Those flowers that just so happen to match your outfit? They were to be a reflection of His magnificent design, not your accessory to being known.
If you’ve ever read the book of Ecclesiastes, you know that the writer, Solomon has had a lot of success leading up to this writing. “The wisest fool to ever live,” as some called him; even Solomon said everything he had was worthless- like chasing after the wind. The very first chapter of this book is dedicated to calling out the vanity in the meaningless things.
“Ecc. 2:14 I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind.”
So if Solomon was referred to as wise, shouldn’t we take what he has to say into consideration? But wait. There’s more. In the New Testament, Paul calls out the people of Lystra that were “living for the moment” as well. Paul healed (through the Lord’s power) a crippled man, and instead of those people living in the moment and giving glory to the one who enabled him to walk, they only saw Paul and began to worship him.
Acts 14:15 “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them.”
I really dig the last part of that verse: “who made the heaven and earth and sea.” God. That’s who deserves the glory, not us. It’s easy to let others “worship” us for editing that pic to perfection, or for being an eloquent speaker/writer. Paul only did what he did because God worked through Him.
Living in the moment doesn’t mean throwing your phone away all together. I am for technology and social media, and believe the benefits are tremendously impactful. I also know the harmful effects as well. Living for the moment is something we’ve all struggled with at some point in our lives. The term “be present” may be overused and cliché, but the truth behind it stands. When we find ourselves only finding joy in what comes next, we begin to chase the wind and forget about what God has presently given us. Live in the moment, being present with your surroundings. Cherish the people around you, and quit trying to chase the wind. Give glory to the creator of everything instead of worrying about “likes.”