All Blogged Out

No, this is not a blog about my desire to wrap things up here at TheShepherdsPen. Nor is it intended to be a rant about the follies of social media, though that itself is a long overdue article; anyone with computer access could justify its dissolution in some measure. This is simply a caution about values and time – using a most precious resource to our spiritual benefit.

In antiquity it’s my understanding that the oral tradition served mankind well for centuries in the transmission of information. Pictures in the dirt and sand paved the way to greater clarity. Along the way, I gather that sticks and maybe even stones were used to facilitate the narrative of instruction. Over time, various figures were carved into rocks and drawn upon hillsides in order to further the great cache of information to future generations. Eventually, mankind employed drawings upon elements which became the precursors of the paper world. Mediums were fabricated; “paper” out of papyrus, and vellum, or “leather paper.” Though new mediums of storage had been created, I would imagine that only the most valuable information would have been committed to these precious pages of real estate.

The manufacture of paper and ink was the natural outflow in order to transmit this data, it’s perceived valuable data to future generations. Though available and abundant, it was the elite of mankind who could read and write and so, were solely privy to the depths of information which had been gleaned over the years. 

Scrolls, and then books, handwritten books made their way on the scene. Herr Gutenberg invented the printing press and the course was pretty well established – books, books, and more books. Libraries housed with books from people with something to say (and often those who did not) who could transmit their wisdom to faraway peoples and times whom they would never see.

Solomon declared the number of books was in incalculable, and that obsession to their contents was exasperating:

“The words of wise men are like goads, and masters of these collections are like well-driven nails; they are given by one Shepherd. But beyond this, my son, be warned: the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body”(Ecclesiastes 12:11-12). 

But, is there wisdom in those pages? He seems to communicate that the quest for endless knowledge outside the walls of divine wisdom can be a fool’s errand. 

Modern times have seen an exponential delivering of vast amounts of information eclipsing all previous generations combined, through analog recordings, video and audio, and all sorts of new mediums securing this information for future generations. All that moved into hyperdrive with the introduction of the computer and the internet age. Now people are transmitting information all across the digital universe 24/7. Every conceivable whim of thought is made available to the general public. Blogs of every sort are cast upon the foraging eye.  Where people are. What they are doing.  What they are eating. What they are thinking.  Oh, yes! What they are thinking.

There are blogs for everything…everything – some/many/most are wanting. The ease with which one can foray into this arena is amazing. With a few clicks anyone can be up and running with invited digital content direct to millions of mailboxes. One can be pursuing a blog in the remotest of regions. To this end the blogosphere has likely contributed to its own demise. 

Many of these destinations promise much and deliver…not so much. And so, a more scrutinizing eye is necessitated, to filter these vast amounts of input.

Does it really have something to contribute? Has it already been communicated? Does it need to be communicated again? Is it clear? Perhaps, in light of modern time demands one should inquire, “Is it to the point?”  Or, simply a drawn-out rant. Does it nurture? Or destroy?

We expose ourselves to so much which does not serve to conform us to the image of Christ. Quantity is one thing…quality is just as important. 

We need to ask: Does it teach? Does it nurture? Does it honor Christ? Does it divide? Does it gather? Does it build up? Does it feed? Does it lead? Does it glorify God?

And while we are at it maybe something inside you is telling you that we ought to rethink other mediums like TV, movies, books and the like. And on second thought, I will include social media as another misused vehicle of fruitless pursuit.

Sometimes we allow ourselves to be entertained by things which dishonor God. I am convinced that God uses some of these blogs for His purposes. I am also convinced that Satan uses many more of these for his purposes.

The web can be pretty amazing. The Information Super Highway was purported to be able to take you everywhere–anywhere you wanted to go. But, I don’t need to go everywhere. I don’t want to go everywhere. I don’t have time to go everywhere, even if I can go digitally. “Come here.” “Click here.” “Just one more.” “A little further.” “Agghh! Clickbait!” The internet has lost its chrome. 

It seems as though each “click” takes us further into progressive degradation. 

Maybe a serene path, a well selected path, a well-chosen path, near a quiet brook is where I need to be today. Maybe a greener pasture. 

“How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, 
Nor stand in the path of sinners, 
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the LORD, 
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a treefirmlyplanted by streams of water, 
Which yields its fruit in its season. 
And its leaf does not wither; 
And in whatever he does, he prospers” (Psalm 1:1-3).

Not all blogs and websites are bad, but let’s avoid getting blogged down, er, bogged down in the mire of the world. 

Choose well. Feed your soul.