Faith and Facebook
I enjoy Facebook. At least once a day, I check my Facebook page. I do that because it helps me keep up with old friends I never see because I’m a transplant from the New England to the West Coast. It lets me see pictures of my grandkids now that they are farther away in Utah. I get to see pictures of friends’ grandkids and cute pets. I see inspirational stories and sayings that (sometimes) help me get through the day and (sometimes) annoy me, depending on my mood. There are funny stories and pictures. But during the Christmas season there are also an assortment of annoying religious advertisements. Some are offers made on behalf of God, like this one:
And opportunities to say I love Jesus, too, like this one,
This one even invites me to skip Christmas if Christ isn’t my reason for the season.
Some of the people who share these are real in-the-flesh friends that would never think walking up to me and saying. Hi, Older Eyes. Do you believe in Jesus? Gimme five if you do or, Gee, Older Eyes, if you just shake my hand and say Amen, you’ll have a financial windfall. Or Hey, you don’t believe in Jesus. Take down that wreath! Of course, they wouldn’t be my in-the-flesh friends if they did.
In twenty-something years of 12-Step meetings, I’ve learned about something called sharing my experience, strength and hope instead of telling other people what I think they should do. At its best, it means saying I do this because it works for me instead of You should do this because I do. It means leading by attraction rather than promotion. It means respecting what others believe and don’t believe. I know I can’t expect people posting on Facebook to behave as if they were in a 12-Step meeting, Shoot, not everyone in 12-Step meetings does that. But it sure would be nice if more did. And I think it would be more in keeping with the spirit of the season, too, but that’s just what this old heathen believes.
Merry Christmas, no matter why you celebrate it.