formation

You Were Made for More than Empty Spectacles

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I’m watching a show on Hulu. It breaks to a commercial. My attention is lost. I’m looking for something that can keep me interested for 90 seconds while I wait for the show to return. I open a new tab and scroll through Facebook, bouncing between browsers, still itching for more. I pull out my phone to check my messages. There are unread texts that need to be responded to, but I don’t have the emotional bandwidth to do it. I close the messaging app and open my email. Nothing. I swipe down to refresh the screen, expecting a new email to pop up, disappointed when one doesn’t. Exhaling, I slide over to Instagram for a second, then glance up to see that the commercial is over. Finally. I resume watching the show, phone still in hand, while my mind is in a stupor, avoiding the messages I could respond to, and yet, hoping for the notification of something new.

Why is it that, while surrounded by so many outlets that promise to captivate me with stories, relationships, entertainment, and enjoyment, I still feel empty? With the world at my fingertips (literally), and the ability to be absorbed in any spectacle I choose, why do I still feel aimless?

Proverbs 27:20 tells me why: “Never satisfied are the eyes of man.”

This is not a blog post about why you shouldn’t consume media, or about the magical five tips that will help you spend less time with your face in front of a screen. This is a plea for us, me included, to take a step back from the vague amusement of our techno-gadgets, to confess our worship of worthless things, and to beg for God to help us re-focus our attention on what (and Who) is most magnificent and significant.

Jesus is the treasure that truly satisfies, but does our media consumption show we believe it?

New Isn’t Better than Eternal

It starts with believing there’s something better than getting a response to the email you sent three hours ago. I’m speaking to myself just as much as anyone. I want closeness, purpose, and answers, and I’m tricked into thinking those come from full notification screens that wait with the promise of friendship, intimacy, and meaning. In fact, there is One waiting. He’s always available, knows you better than you know yourself, and brings more satisfaction than we can imagine.

Do we really believe that Jesus meant it when He said, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:13-14)?

Jesus is the treasure that truly satisfies, but does our media consumption show we believe it?

In a world full of spectacles competing for your devotion, turn your eyes upward to the One who stands above it all, the only One worthy of your full, unfettered attention. Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.

Become an Expert at Savoring and Telling the Multi-faceted Beauty of the Gospel.

We need to become experts at the gospel because it’s better than any image or story. And I don’t mean simply being able to slip in a quick, conversational reference to Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. If this news is supposed to not only win our souls initially, but also sustain us daily and nourish our affections for God, it must be more than a mechanical recitation of far-off truths.

We need it to be written on the tablet of our hearts, etched into our minds, weaved into every aspect of our day (Proverbs 7:3; Deuteronomy 6:7).

Are we collectively enamored by the blazing spectacle of Jesus Christ in all of His infinite glory, or are we numb to His beauty because we are caught up in the flurry of spectacles that have won our allegiance?

Let your Discomfort Lead you to Deeper Resolve

I am pleading with you to be uncomfortable with your relationship with digital media. Wrestle with it. Consider, ask, lean in, pray, and humble yourself that the Lord might enlarge your heart to know, love, fear, and trust Him more than anyone or anything (Psalm 119:32).

I’m afraid that so many of us, me included, have hurried along in our busy lives with quick fixes that distract ourselves from having to truly ponder ultimate realities.

Ponder Carefully the State of Your Soul.

If you are bored by the gospel, or if you have never been enamored by who God is and what He has made available, do not let your proneness to boredom distract you from dealing with the possibility that you may have a heart that has never truly been awakened to taste the goodness of God. Pray and beg that He would give you an appetite for greater things, namely Himself. A couple resources I would recommend are: A Gospel Primer, Because He Loves Me, and Gentle and Lowly.

For centuries, Christian thinkers have been telling us the same thing, but we need to hear it again. Our hearts really are restless until they find rest in Jesus (Augustine). We actually are half-hearted creatures fooling around silly things while infinite joy awaits (C.S. Lewis). There’s a reason images and digital spectacles leave you feeling thirsty: You were made for more.

So, resolve to turn your eyes from worthless things. Do not let your desire for God be choked out by lesser things.

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Katelyn Cerrito

Katelyn Cerrito is a wife, mama, counselor, and student. She is currently pursuing an MA in Ministry to Women with Biblical Counseling at SEBTS. Her passion is to care for and equip women in the local church to know and treasure Jesus Christ in real life.

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