Tag Archive: time

The Death of Creation

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1 ESV)

Let There Be Light by Christolakis (Source: flickr)

Genesis 1 begins with that famous line which clearly positions God as the creator, maker of all things.  The story unfolds as everything that is seen is created and put in order.  Near the end of His working, God creates something very good, a man, in His own image.  I often wonder what characteristics of God show up in human beings because of our possession of His divine image.  None of us express His entire image, and each of us are weak in some aspects and strong in others.  But I think that there are some pieces that we all possess.  One of these is the capacity to create, even if at a level far below what God does in Genesis 1!

It is clear from the rest of the story that God intended man to be able to create.  He asks Adam to create names for all of animals and charges him to “increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it” i.e. create more humans.  This story makes me reflect on modern day creation and how we spend our time.

Let us suppose for a moment that people have two modes, creation and consumption.  There are times when consumption is a physical necessity for life (eating or breathing). In our society it is rare when we do not have the necessities for life, especially when there is a super Wal-Mart down the street, though not for Dean.  We have minimized the time it takes to feed and protect ourselves which leaves ample room for either creation or other types of consumption.

We are a consumption saturated society.  The advent of mass media and advertising has led to people being drowned in a consumer mentality (fight-able yes, but an unlikely victory).  The saying goes, “you are what you think” and in the US, many people think about the next product they want to own or the TV show that is on tonight because an advertisement is in front of them all the time.  In my own experience, it is so easy to be convinced that I “need” that new product.  Everyone has their hot buttons.  Think about how you spend your time from a consumer, creator standpoint. Do you add value with your time; is it a good return on investment, or do you only consume?  As a creator you could create knowledge, build relationships, design art (digital or traditional), or play music.  How do you feel after bringing something to completion?  Most people experience joy when exercising their powers to create.  I know that Bethany was pleased with herself after repainting her bookshelf with cool stone flecky paint!

I agree that there are nights when I only feel like consuming a bit of mindless TV, but I find that even after couch potatoing I do not feel refreshed.  This situation has an opportunity for hidden creation.  I like to think about relaxing as the creation of peace.  Relaxation is specific, instead of mindless; it does not happen naturally (except during sleep).  How to relax is different for everyone, but my relaxation spot is a dimly lit room in a chair with a glass of Arizona sweet tea, a book, and DJ Tiësto’s “Hide & Seek (In Search of Sunrise Remix)” playing in the background (you’ll find me there after I get this post written)!  I am adding value with the book but when in relaxation mode I choose something lighter than Shakespeare!  Another great example of hidden creation is what I talked about in one of my first posts: Called for a Purpose – Building a Community where my roommate, Dean and I used video games to create a community.

Where do you want to focus your God given powers of creation this week?  We all have our projects.  I encourage you to spend time there, in things that add value to yourself and to others.  Those are the activities that are truly important and are so often buried under those which are only urgent.  The best way to think about it is what you will remember and what you will be remembered for.  Let me end the post with one more theme and reverse the definition of success.

“Success is to laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people & the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics & endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded”  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (thanks for the find Tuesday!)


America’s New Pastime: FACEBOOK

America’s new pastime:  FACEBOOK

“As of 2011, there are 500,000,000 active Facebook users. Approximately 1 in EVERY 13 people on EARTH.”

Over 700 billion minutes every month are spent on Facebook! If I calculated the math correctly, that accounts to 79,863,091 years spent on Facebook every month. If you currently have a Facebook account, how much time do you spend monthly, weekly, or even daily on the website? Of the 500,000,000 users, over 250,000,000 log in every day to access their accounts. 28% of Facebook users check their Facebook before even getting out of bed! In fact, 57% of people talk to people more online than they do in real life!

While reading through all of these statistics, I was thinking to myself, “How did I become involved in Facebook and social interaction online?” Ironically, I still remember the day I entered the online social world. My experience began at my 6th grade birthday party when one of my friends downloaded AOL Instant Messenger on my computer. Back then (2003), AOL could be considered the MySpace or Facebook of its day.  Little did I know, my life would be changed forever. Whenever I logged on to the computer, I would always sign into AOL to see if any of my friends were online to chat while I worked on homework or surfed the web. For me, these were the days when social interaction online increased between my friends. Two years later, a new social website named MySpace started to emerge. As more and more of my friends transitioned to MySpace, I followed the trend. Toward the end of my 8th grade year and beginning of my freshmen year, Facebook become popular and once again, my friends began transitioning to this new website. I always wondered what caused these transitions. What were people my age looking for in online interaction?

If you remember how you transitioned into the social world, please e-mail me your story. (DrBrown2346@gmail.com). I am interested to see if anyone had a similar experience to mine with different online transitions starting with AOL and moving through other websites with friends until they found today’s social networking powers such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace.

Before posting this blog, I did some research on Facebook statistics and why so many people let Facebook be a part of their daily life. I came across an interesting article on CNN Health entitled, “Five clues that you are addicted to Facebook.” The list includes:

  1. You lose sleep over Facebook
    1. How many times at night do you find yourself procrastinating on Facebook when you have homework that needs to be completed? Do you stay up late in the evening to get that one last poke in before bed?
  2. You spend more than an hour a day on Facebook
    1. Does your daily routine include Facebook? Is it something you check in the morning (before you get out of bed?) or the last thing you check before sleeping?
  3. You become obsessed with old loves
    1. Do not let friending an old boyfriend/girlfriend turn into something it shouldn’t. Catch yourself before you find yourself creeping on their pictures, information, wall, etc.
  4. You ignore the important things in life in favor of Facebook ( I tweaked number 4)
    1. Does Facebook come before your children, family, schoolwork, and career? Facebook can be a great tool for reconnecting with family and friends, but do not let it turn into a dangerous time consuming habit.
  5. The thought of getting off Facebook leaves you in a cold sweat
    1. According to Pile, “Try going a day without Facebook. If you find it causes you a lot of stress and anxiety, you really need to get some help.”

The FACEBOOK Challenge, are YOU ready?!
(And no, this does not have anything to do with the 30 day Facebook Picture Challenge)

                One evening two months ago, I was talking to a close friend of mine on the phone. I was telling him about my daily Facebook habit and how I needed to invest my time in something more valuable. He told me if I sent him my Facebook password, he would change it and not allow me to log in for 30 days, yes 30 days! At first, I thought he was crazy. The following morning, without even thinking about it, I woke up and checked my Facebook. One minute later, I sent him my account password. I knew it was time for change and for 30 days, I lived without Facebook. Within those 30 days, I learned a great deal about myself, my time, and how I interacted with friends and family.

Could you go without Facebook for 30 days? If you accept the challenge, find a trusted friend/family member to change your account password. Then, for 30 days experience life with the 43% of people who talk to more people in real life than they do online. After 30 days, you may have a new outlook on life, social interaction, and how you spend your time…

This is the beginning of a new day. You have been given this day to use as you will. You can waste it or use it for good. What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever; in its place is something that you have left behind… let it be something good.” -Anonymous