Facebook was something else in 2016! I watched in fascination. It's been awful, ugly, and raw.
Having fun instead
In other news, I started playing soccer on Sundays with a group of women that I don't know. For the first game, we all timidly came to the field, hoping that we could play again like we used to. Some brought their babies and husbands, some snuck away from home leaving their families to fend for themselves for an hour or two.
11 of us showed up, and our first joint decision was which field to play on. The big, medium, or small? We decided to start on the smallest field, and then move up if we didn't have enough room.
There was some small talk, nervous laughter about what we were about to do. Jokes about how long it's been since we've really played. But quickly we all stretched out and then divided up into two teams. It was time to play.
We moved out onto the field, and decided to be kind of informal. We're adults, we can play for fun without a ref, right? Right.
We set the timer for a mere 20 minutes, and started off. The ball started rolling and we started running. Our legs and feet quickly remembered our old moves. We sprinted, we kicked, we passed, we scored. We didn't know each other's names, so we had to just yell out our positions. "Cross! You gotta a drop! Here!" The ball went back and forth down the field. It was glorious.
Seven minutes later, we were bending over, gasping for air, red in the face, clutching our sides. The moves were a bit a slower. We even started slipping, and some of us started falling.
We laughed, and laughed. And when the ball came to our side, a new burst of energy would hit us. We'd run again, for a moment. We started learning each other's names for easier passing.
We laughed again. It was glorious.
There were fouls, the ball was kicked out, and there were no hard feelings. We just took our kicks, threw in the ball when it went out, and set up again after each new goal. The point wasn't really to win, but just to play.
We played for 20 minutes, and took a break. That first break we each drank most of the water we'd brought. But we played another 20 minutes. And then another. The last 20 minutes, I'm not going to lie, there was a lot of walking. We would have been in big trouble with coaches. We laughed about how easy it is to tell our kids to hustle.
That was all we could do. But we all left with huge smiles on our faces, and we kept saying, "That was so much fun!"
And it really was. It was so much fun. I couldn't stop talking about it. And I can't wait until the next game.
Dealing with our inhumanity
And now back to Facebook. I know this has been said. Facebook is not humane. The media isn't either, but we can't really fix them. We can fix ourselves, at least to an extent. We need more Jesus, yes, but I think we also need to figure out how to get more Jesus.
Jesus came to make us all more human. More rightly human. To be more fully human, we must be in right relationships. We are not islands, if we aren't known by others, we are not human. It is in our relationships that we are truly human. And Jesus was fully human, all the way human. Rightly human. Being fully, rightly human is being in right relationship with God...and also with all the other humans...and also with the earth and animals.
Facebook can be great for relationships, I love seeing pictures of my friends' kids, and also hearing about what prayers they need right in the moments. But then with this election, the in-humaneness of Facebook came out blazing. We spouted off our feelings without thinking about the humans we are angry with. We aren't in right relationship with each other right now.
So Facebook has it good points, yes, but the bad points need to be countered.
I think we need to play together more. We need to meet each other in real life more. We need to set up meetings, games, groups, clubs. Whatever it takes. If you are interested in something, I bet someone else is too.
And we need to meet with people we don't necessarily agree with on everything. People on the other side of the election, or church, or school. We need to find something that we can agree on (like soccer or books or clothing or food or games) and really understand the humans we are here with.
So this year, I suggest we all use Facebook for it's true potential: To make it possible to connect to people outside of our circles. Be brave, and say yes to something you find fun. Find other people who think it's fun too, and get together in real life to just have some fun.
But don't use Facebook as a soapbox. I can't really see Jesus doing something like that. No, He wanted to be face to Face all the time. He wanted to look everyone in the eye no matter what He was saying to them. And yes, sometimes, the things He had to say weren't nice to hear. But He said it to their faces. He was in right relationship like that.
So let's meet up, face to face and maybe another Face will show up too. What do you think?