I have decided to come back to writing on this blog, as I simultaneously quit facebook for a while. I think that the latter trains me toward distraction and contributes to patterns of hummingbird flightiness; it undermines my concentration and intentionality. I get so busy being distracted. It’s a small thing and, I think, even an embarrassing thing. But, I’m learning that it’s those little decisions reiterated over and over that etch into my core and contribute to overall postures toward life. I like to pretend that facebook is petty and inconsequential in my life—because, I think it should be—but, well, I’m more addicted than I like to admit. (And, if I were speaking this, you would hear that last admission in multiple, halting, unfinished sentences. )
I’m currently reading Desiring the Kingdom by James K.A. Smith. He states, “habits are inscribed in our heart through bodily practices and rituals that train the heart, as it were, to desire certain ends. This is a noncognitive sort of training, a kind of education that is shaping us often without realization. Different kinds of material practices infuse noncognitive dispositions and skills in us through ritual and repetition precisely because our hearts (site of habits) are so closely tethered to our bodies. . . It’s as if our appendages function as a conduit to our adaptive unconscious: the motions and rhythms of embodied routines train our minds and hearts so that we develop habits—sort of attitudinal reflexes—that make us tend to act in certain ways toward certain ends.” (58)
I will probably write more about Desiring the Kingdom and should note that he is addressing much bigger issues than facebook—namely, a proper philosophical anthropology which informs the way we think about Christian education and worship. Nonetheless, I’ve ‘inscribed’ on my heart ‘habits’ of distraction through that little click on my bookmarks. If my account were not disabled, I would have already checked facebook a few times, followed by my email, skimmed through a few blogs, and BBC world news. I just don’t want to be that kind of person—easily distracted, incapable of sustaining a train of thought. So, while blogging may not be the ultimate means toward that kind of thought, it helps me to write down what I think and adds extra incentive to write well when someone could potentially critique me.
So, people-who-read my-blog-but-won’t-know-I-posted-because-I’m-not-putting-it-on-facebook, I’m back!