Background: My husband helped me sign up for a Twitter account. So overwhelmed, I’m writing about it.
This is 2012. Earlier this year I got my first smartphone. I remember the first app I downloaded was one for my bank. I recall exclaiming to my husband so proudly, “I’m a mobile banker, I’m a mobile banker”! And how could I ever forget playing Words with Friends for the first time. Late, but I was now a part of the mobile world. So my experience with Twitter came with excitement and bewilderment.
As I went through the setup process, it prompts me to choose 5 people/organizations to follow. After you choose those, it gives you suggestions broken into categories/interest areas of more people to follow. I found myself struggling to choose the first five. I was so overwhelmed with who to choose, I began to question what my interests were and who do I listen to or watch on a regular basis. I felt out of touch with reality. I thought, “What have I been doing the last 4-5 years of my life, that I can’t think of anything I’m interested in or people of celebrity status that I might want to follow.” I felt sad. Like when you go to your hometown and nothing is the same. The world was moving forward and I was left behind.
How does this relate to the P31? Proverbs 31:14 describes the woman as a merchant ship, she brings her food from afar. Now, why not get her food locally, why go through the hassle of getting something from afar. Obviously there was something she desired for her family to eat that couldn’t be found in her community. So in order to expose her family to different foods, she invested in foods from afar. And she would not have made the effort if she didn’t think it was important for her family to have a well rounded palate. Or maybe she was from afar and desired to bring some of the flavors of home to her home. The everyday selection in her community is good, but flavors from around the world are better.
I see myself as the P31’s neighbor. We chat and go to the market together, our kids play with one another. But when I go to her house for dinner, I find something on the table that I’m not familiar with. And the conversation about where this food came from and how life is carried out there, are foreign to me. They’re foreign because I don’t put forth the effort or place importance on knowing anything about far away places. I’m content with my community and all that is there. Fast forwarding to the present day, my sadness over feeling out of touch was partnered with guilt. I had isolated myself to what was going on in my life and placed no importance on technology or what was going on in the world.
So with my Twitter experience I’ve learned this. Don’t get so consumed with your life that you isolate yourself from everything that goes on around you. You’ll get left behind and look like a tourist when you finally get on board with what’s current. The P31 woman described in the verse was not going to settle for just what was in her community, she stepped outside of the ordinary in order to experience something outside of her local community.
You only feel irrelevant when you haven’t made an effort to keep up.