Social media is like a maze. Before you go in, you think about what you’re looking for. You want to see how your far-away family members are doing, who’s having a birthday today, and what time you’re meeting friends for coffee next week. If you were a mouse, these things would be your cheese.
But what if while scurrying through the maze in search of your cheese you stumble on something else. You notice a few of your friends battling it out in the corner. So you stop and watch as they verbally bash each other. While standing there, someone comes up behind you and bumps into you. Then another. And another. Before long you’re all standing there gawking at this explosive disagreement in wonder, whispering opinions. Maybe you even toss in your own word or two. Before you know it, you’re in the battle and everyone is staring at you.
Or maybe you don’t see such a thing when you journey through the maze. Maybe you come across pictures on the walls; so many happy pictures of your “friends.” But instead of feeling happy for them, you feel a little sad. Maybe you’re going through a difficult time in your life and you’re really struggling. You feel pretty helpless and alone and seeing how everyone else’s lives seem to be on track, worry-free, and overflowing with friends and happy faces makes you sink even lower. You plop down in the corner and cry, feeling worse than before.
Or maybe, just maybe you went into the maze with the intent to get back at someone who’s hurt you. You go in with the most powerful weapon you can bring into the maze, your words, and you’re ready to open fire. So at the most opportune moment you plan to let ‘em have it. Oh there are lots of ways to do it, you reason. You’ve witnessed many battles like this before when you stood back and watched. And if others do it, why can’t you?
So you enter the maze and see the one you’re after, the one you want to intentionally hurt. Maybe you’ll throw some heavy words at him, bricks that will tarnish the wall behind him so everyone can see. Or maybe you’ll be a little sneaky, really go in for the punch by purposely leaving him out of something. How can you be sure he’ll find out? By hanging a picture of course. That should get everyone talking. And that’s a more subtle way to hurt him so you’ll look totally innocent in the matter.
Yes. It probably will hurt him. You’ll be able to snicker to yourself and keep moving on.
But while you’re carrying on, the same thing happens to you. Someone hits you with a heavy brick for all to see and someone else hangs up a picture and you feel deeply wounded that you weren’t included in it. Now you’re hurt and anger begins to burn you from the inside out.
But even worse than that: When you entered the maze and became so distracted, you missed what you should have been doing with your valuable, limited time. Perhaps there is someone who needs a physical hug today (not just a wink). Maybe someone needs to hear your voice on the phone or desperately craves a handwritten card of encouragement from you. But you never made that call and you never sent the card. You were stuck in the maze.
And while you were lost wandering around and around looking at walls and trying to find your way out, you also failed to see how dark the maze became. It wasn’t the drama that blocked the light but the one who wants to stand between you and God.
Satan is lurking in the maze and has been whispering lies to distract you ever since you got here. He loves tricking you into staying just long enough that you lose your way and just long enough to do some damage.
That way you’re so busy doing his job that you fail to do the job God created you to do.
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (1 Peter 5:8-9 NIV.)