Comedian Jim Gaffigan once said “Everything is McDonald’s…momentary pleasure followed by incredible guilt eventually leading to cancer.”
The only difference is what form your McDonald’s takes.
Whether its actual McDonald’s, reality television, celebrity gossip, sports fanaticism, health obsession, shopping or something else we’ve been conditioned to consume, consume, consume and it is killing us.
Perhaps one of the strongest forms of “McDonald’s” out there today is in social media.
I can’t be the only one who once thought “I’ve got a couple hours, I should hit the gym but first…FACEBOOK!” 1.5 hours later I still haven’t gotten off of Facebook and the gym is now out of the question.
And much like McD’s, I generally feel awful after consuming social media. It is slowly killing me.
My soul’s arteries are clogged by incessant inflammatory articles, flaunting pictures, ignorant posts and articles. After writing and deleting what I considered to be perfect responses I’ve lost my chance to go to the gym and left in it’s place is spiritual high blood pressure about to boil over to a stroke.
Maybe it isn’t social media for you but consumption of something else – actual food, binge Netflix or Hulu, retail therapy, video games, SportsCenter (and all of it half dozen reruns each day).
It’s all spiritual McDonald’s.
I believe we were created for more than just consumption that leads to a mild depression.
In Genesis 1&2 we read that God created the world and all that is in it (NOTE: the Bible is less concerned on HOW he created but more concerned with the fact that he created but perhaps we’ll touch more on that soon). God is the ultimate Creative force. Whatever method he used, it is incredible to consider all that he has made. Whether he used evolution or a literal 6 days both are impressive but neither are the point. He created and that’s what is amazing.
We also read in Genesis that God said “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” (Genesis 1.26)
The word used to represent this idea is imago dei or “the image of God”.
God created mankind and then put him to work, using creativity to tend the earth. Amazing, right?
And in this creativity and work was God’s peace. His SHALOM.
Work and creativity precede the Fall in the story! Creativity is part of God’s perfect design!
We now create because God created and we are in his image.
Yet because of things like social media, we are slaves to social media. Slaves to opinions. Slave to thoughtless words and throwaway comments made by others.
And because of that, we’ve lost our creative spark and in its place is a low lying depression.
Our challenge presented at the Pursuit last night was the same that I’ll make to you now. It is a challenge to recapture and become the creative that God designed you to be, to recapture some of that shalom:
Go out into your backyard and dig a hole. Place your phone in that hole. Cover it up with dirt and then go do something creative.
Can’t do that? Fine. At least delete your Facebook app or whatever is your social media of choice and go create something.
It doesn’t have to be art. Just do something with your hands.
I typically like to do the cooking in our family but tonight my wife made an amazing dinner (accentuated by the leftover wine used in the cooking!) as a way of being creative.
We didn’t resent her for it.
We didn’t wonder what she meant by putting cheese on it.
There was no subtext to the noodles.
We just enjoyed it. As a family.
She created and we enjoyed the creation.
And as a result, we experienced a bit of that peace, that shalom.
Please, put away the insane things that beg for your attention but leave you feeling upset or depressed and instead, be creative.
We were created to be creatives.
Build something with wood.
But whatever you do, do it to the glory of God and leave the soul clogging things alone.
And since we’re on the topic of comedians and McDonald’s (and I am the Nerd Pastor) here’s another great bit about McDonald’s by Pete Holmes. You’re welcome.