Last night while at a Padres game my friend Kevin opened my eyes to a thread of cultural commentary that is too good to not share. If you have Instagram, look up socalitybarbie right now and allow yourself five good minutes of laughing...potentially at yourself. You're welcome. This is an Instagram account that in a matter of a few weeks and days has grown from 1,000 followers to 67,500 (and counting....). This opens two questions for me. 1) are we post-post-modern hipster to the point that who we were a month ago (and still currently are) is satirized and worth laughing at? In other words, are we laughing at our yesterday while boldly moving into tomorrow with a different style and set of cultural markers? 2) or are we narcissists that love ourselves so much that we are tickled with a sense of fascination from seeing ourselves in another medium?
Culturally, we have an exotic, borderline erotic, interest in ourselves and our appearance. Keeping a perfectly manicured Instagram feed to show our mountaintop adventures is overly-important to us. Living adventurously matters. Socality barbie is holding the mirror up and allowing us to laugh at....ourselves.
The problem with living adventurously is that it over-values the mountaintop. The mountaintop is beautiful. It is what we may spend great work climbing. We celebrate the mountaintop with a filtered post, cropping out anything that doesn't contribute to our #adventure #liveadventurously agenda. But the mountaintop isn't where we spend 99.9% of our time. We live in the valley and lust for the glory of the mountaintop. Living for the mountaintop comes from a place of lack of contentment. And it makes so much sense. We aren't satisfied with _____ so we lust after things that will make it look like we have achieved _____.
The funny thing about following Jesus is that it calls us into a life of adventure in the valley. The everyday and the mundane. Following Jesus calls us to be present, to listen well to people, to make much of sharing a simple meal, and to rejoice.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thess. 5:16-18.
For me, this passage is the best reminder of what it means to follow Jesus and His teachings 24/7. The will of God is that we experience life by way of rejoicing, praying, and giving thanks. Through the everyday and the mundane.
The mountaintop isn't evil. The stereotypes represented in socality barbie, while scary-true, aren't inherently evil. When we worship the mountaintop more than the creator of the mountaintop - we have strayed.
Follow-up: unplug today. Be present. Only reply to work-related texts if absolutely necessary. When you're standing next to a beautiful vista or killer sunset fight the impulse to snap a pic. Instead, pray, rejoice, and celebrate that the same God who made that view knows you and calls you to enter into an intimate, communal redemption.