Letting Go of the Cracked Lens – Lent Week 3
On Sunday evening, we hosted a mutli-generational event focused on listening to youth share about the joys and challenges of teen life today. The bad news is that social media fuels some of our desire for perfection, whether it is planning a Pinterest-worthy party, or making sure we update our Instagram with a photo showing our life at its best. One youth noted that Instagram encourages us to filter, not just images, but how we are seen in the world. He called this view of our lives, “looking through a cracked lens.”
Now for the good news: multiple youth have told me that they are cutting down their social media use. They’ve learned that social media can be a huge waste of time. They understand that social media makes us feel like we aren’t perfect, or even good enough. And, they’ve chosen, without adults forcing them, to limit the apps they use and the time they spend on them. And, they’ve noticed that many of us adults need to do the same. This week you are invited to release the pressure to be perfect and lean into grace. As the memes say, “We are both masterpieces and works in progress.”
Discuss what it means to be a perfect parent or a perfect kid. What do people expect of you? How do you know you are “good enough?” Read Psalm 139: 1-18. How does it feel to know that God knows you and loves you? What does it feel like to know God’s love is unconditional?
In Sabbath we are invited to take a break from the endless pursuit of perfection. The National Day of Unplugging is this week, March 9-10. The Sabbath Manifesto website encourages us to unplug from our screens and re-connect with family. Spend time outdoors. Light Candles. Give back. Slow Down. Choose a family unplugging time – whether for an hour or a day. Be sure to talk to each other about how it felt to take a break.
Raise your arms outstretched above your head. Imagine God’s love and grace filling your arms to overflowing. Bring your arms full of grace to your heart. Remember that you are a beloved child of God. You do not need to do anything to receive God’s grace. You are already enough. Extend your arms to those around you and to the world, sharing God’s love through you. (This prayer is adapted from multiple versions found online.)