We spent six days in northern Michigan lake country with no Internet, cell or data connection.
No suffocating sense of competition or comparison either.
Gets a girl thinking real hard about this online space we all spend so much time in. And wondering how to carve out quiet, safe spaces for the soul to remember it is beloved, pursued, cherished and called in the midst of the chaos we wade through every day.
The sky was so big and the water so wide it made me feel small in all the right ways.
Not because my house is too small or my blog or book or online presence is small compared to someone else’s. No, it made me feel small because that’s the appropriate reaction for a human being to have when she tilts her head back and gets a glimpse of the God who sculpted all that awesome with His bare hands.
The horizon that aches on forever and the tiny minnows that dart and dash between my sons’ toes. How the same God breathed life into both. The daunting expanse of the cosmos stretched out above us like a hammock and the sand that sifts and squishes beneath our feet.
I am so small in that context. And it’s a relief.
We were not built for big.
We were built to reflect the glory of the God who is big. And who is not afraid to speak to us in a still, small voice; a gentle whisper.
It makes me simultaneously want to quit the Internet and forge deep into it to grab Christ’s daughters by the shoulders and shake them and repeat real loud into their beautiful eyes, “You are CHOSEN, WANTED, NECESSARY, LAVISHLY LOVED. There is only one YOU and we need that you not to disappear, duck, hide or give up to the lie that you don’t belong.”
Makes me want to stamp out every single blog post that rages in this epidemic of “not enough.” The “I’m not enough of a writer,” “I don’t have a big enough platform,” “my house isn’t tidy enough,” “my kids aren’t behaving enough,” “my marriage isn’t interesting enough.”
As my friend Jennifer Dukes Lee says, “We’ve had enough of the not enoughs.”
And the Internet is not the boss of us.
Not by a long shot. And if it’s been bossing you around lately? If it’s been making you feel the ugly kind of small? If it’s been whispering lies into your head late at night and nudging you to pull out your measuring tape when you’re scrolling through what she’s been up to on Facebook or what he’s got planned for the summer – maybe it’s time to cut it off.
The Internet is only as loud and shouty as we let it be.
But here’s the thing – simply shut that computer down and you’ll be surprised how little power it has over you.
Take Instagram in small doses or take it off your phone completely.
Stop reading the blogs that shrink the size of your spirit.
Stand out in the middle of a beach or a farm or your back yard or the neighborhood football field and gaze up at the sky and let all the security of that kind of small sink deep into your bones.
May we lift up our eyes to the hills and away from the stats, likes and followers long enough to remember that we are each of us called uniquely according to His purpose.
And may we not be too defeated by what she is doing that we aren’t able to hear and eagerly respond to the still, small voice that calls us by name, “Here am I, Lord. Send me.”