Unfortunately, as I write this quick reflection, all that is in my head is “From a Distance”, by Cliff Richard . . . I should have thought of a different title to this blog post! Although, in the lyrics he does say something a bit bonkers, “God is watching us, God is watching us . . . . from a distance.” Well, HE is NOT watching us from a distance . . . He is RIGHT HERE. The challenge in life and in ministry is that we can believe that what is “happening” (in terms of where God is and what He is doing) is going on somewhere else . . . . whilst we are doing something mundane, hard, boring . . . right where we are.
Social Media stuff just makes this worse . . . . two great things are going on right now (and they are great things!) – 1. is the Youth Culture and Mission Lectures (happening today in London, and tomorrow in Leeds) follow conversation via twitter on @realYCML #ycml13 and 2. the Media Literacy for Christian Ministry intensive (happening this week in Durham) . . . part of the Big Bible Project, and you can keep an eye on what the lectures are talking about by following #medialit13 . . . there are probably other conferences, gatherings I am missing out on.
I think the “I am missing something” massively stems from that insecurity that there is stuff that others know and talk about that you (namely me) do not know about, secret conversations in corridors that mysteriously go silent as you walk through, that there might be a world inhabited by others that is – well, more dynamic and “happening” than your world . . .
Now, the advantage of social media is that I can kind of “be there” whilst also being here. Following on twitter at least gives me some soundbites, I can sound knowledgeable in conversations with others about topics that I really should be up to speed on . . . BUT, where does all that end?
What I have been “called to” is real stuff, with real people, happening now – God is here.
What I can glean from some of these “other things” that I never get to is helpful, but not more important than what is going on in the real stuff, with real people, happening now – God is here.
What I glance at from elsewhere that looks vital, important, essential, “don’t miss this” might in fact cause me to miss THIS – what is going on in the real stuff, with real people, happening now – God is not distant, God is not just watching, God is not just somewhere else where a crowd has gathered – God is here.
God is here. Anything can happen. If God is here, then “it” (that elusive “it”) is also happening right here.
So, this blog post finishes my “what am I missing musings” for this week. If it is happening right here, right now – I don’t want to miss it!