I said a quick prayer to the Holy Spirit and dove into the Mass readings for today. Saint Paul gave me pause in his letter to the Romans when he reminded us "do nothing out of selfishness or vainglory." I pushed the discomfort aside and read on: "humbly regard others as more important than yourselves." (Philippians 2:3). I plowed ahead, only to be reminded by the Psalmist: "my heart is not proud and my eyes are not haughty." (Psalm 131:1). I scrolled nervously down to the Gospel reading, bowing my head a little at the Lord's admonition:
". . . when you hold a banquet,
invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind;
blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you." (Luke 14:13-14).
I struggle with social media. I don't think I'm alone in this.
I struggle with wanting to find just the right picture to share. I take pleasure in crafting the perfect turn of phrase in my writing, and I love making people laugh with a quick witted and aptly timed remark. Those little red hearts do more than just spike my dopamine; all too often they fool me into thinking that my prowess on the stage that is the world wide web takes precedence over my presence to my family, to my friends, to my neighbors.
I have a proud heart and haughty eyes. I take pleasure in creating for creating's sake, yes, but truth be told, I also crave the rush of being seen, being known, and being affirmed. My motivation isn't completely selfless, and the less I invite the Creator Spirit into my toil, the more selfish I become. But when I leave God out of the equation, no amount of likes can make up for how hollow that feels.
Co-creating with God is the absolute height of closeness and accomplishment. It fills the soul with praise and gratitude. Creating apart from God, on the other hand, may produce a few thrills along the way, but the end result will always be a bit hollow.
Take a minute today to pray the Litany of Humility. Print it out or hand letter it and hang it somewhere you will see it every morning.
Jenny Uebbing is a wife, mother to five, and blogger. She's learning to practice self care again after a long stretch of baby growing, and if everyone else is asleep you can usually find her in the gym or behind her Kindle. You can find out more about her here.