I was listening to NPR as I was driving to work yesterday (I don’t know whether to apologize to my family that those letters weren’t F-O-X or make a joke about how many posts I’ll start with “I was listening to NPR…” so I’ll go with neither) and there was a man on there talking about something interesting (imagine that).
He was talking about something that I believe dominates our society and our relationships the way Heidi Montag dominates silicon production in the United States (if you don’t get that, don’t Google it). He was talking about how superficiality is drowning out substantiality.
What percent of Twitter, Facebook, Google, and, heck, the internet itself is superficial? 99%? 99.9%? You have the occasional creation of something like Kiva or Wikipedia that adds value to society but so much of it is rubbish that most of the time it’s hard to tell the difference. It’s like trying to get 4 oz. of cream to rise in a 5 million gallon bucket of milk.
But isn’t it the same in marriage?
How much of what I do in my marriage on a day-to-day basis is substantial? I would argue (I am arguing) that the emotional energy spent creating substantive conversation or activity at times seems unworthy of the time and focus I have to put into it. Perhaps that’s because I have an arrogant view of what my time is worth.
It’s easy to Tweet: “I am going to the gym because I just ate a hamburger. I am meeting friends there.” It’s even easier to Tweet: “[fill in famous quote from famous person].” The hard part? Creating your own material and conveying that material in an original manner that adds value.
What is true online is true in real life as well (can I get someone on making that a geometrical proof?).
It’s easy to buy a bundle of flowers and a vase and plop them down on the kitchen table. It’s even easier to drop two $20s on dinner at a nicer-than-Applebees restaurant. To wake up every morning with a plan of how I’m going to create content and lead conversation and block off substantive time with which I can dynamically lead my wife in our pursuit of the Lord and each other?