In this day of information and social media, many of us are posting all of the grand exploits of our lives on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and more. It can be tempting to think that everything we do is noteworthy (at best), or that we are the center of the universe (at worst).
We can feel the need to impress everyone around us at all times. There can be pressure to prove our lives have meaning, or that we are cool, or that we are funny, or that we are well traveled, or that we are interesting or…you get the idea.
This can become exhausting. Is it really possible to sustain a life that has at least one amazing thing per day (sometimes more) that is worth telling dozens of people?
Sometimes it’s nice to do something and not tell anyone. Like the old days when phones were stuck to the wall and there were no answering machines.
We used to do things and not tell anyone…unless it came to our mind the next time we saw them. You could bake a juicy berry pie and not take a photo of it. You would just sit down together at dinner and eat it, the only evidence being the purple stain on your teeth.
Adele Calhoun, in her book Spiritual Disciplines Handbook, defines Secrecy as “practicing the spirit of Christ reflected in hiddenness, anonymity, lack of display and the holding of confidences.”
Calhoun goes on to say, “Jesus was totally free. He gave gratuitously and graciously. He did not look for a return. He played to an audience of One—His Father. Secrecy stems from the desire to share confidences with God–to play to an audience of One.”
Secrecy can be a kind of fasting from attention for notoriety as well as a furthering of our intimacy with God.
A mentor of mine once said to me, “Don’t share everything. Some things, if shared, can lose their potency.” Meaning can be stripped of something if it is thrown to the wind for everyone to admire and make comments. Sometimes it is good to just let it be.
We often hear the phrase, “It is what it is.” I haven’t always been sure I like that phrase as it can lead to inaction. However, in this case, “it is what it is” is exactly what we are looking for. We can do something wonderful, amazing, self-sacrificing or even mundane, and not tell anyone.
It is what it is before God. He alone sees it. Our secret draws us closer and the potency remains.
There are many ways to practice Secrecy. One simple way is to be mindful of our use of social media and how the use of it may affect our hearts or the hearts of others.
The next time you have the urge to post something on your favorite social media app try this:
- Leave your phone in your pocket.
- Stay focused on what is happening.
- If you are with people, really enjoy the moment in their presence.
- If you are alone, let the moment lead you into conversation with God and bond you to Him even further.
And don’t forget to thank God for this opportunity…a moment of beauty…a wonderful connection with your friends or family, or even a juicy piece of berry pie.
Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash