Friday, May 28, 2010
Meeting Drew Brees and self-importance
Earlier this week I had dinner with a big group at a favorite New Orleans spot in honor of a friend who is going to Peru for the summer. My sweet friend Vinita is in school for public health and has to go to Peru to complete a research project there. We were all having a good time eating and being merry when Drew Brees, the New Orleans Saints superbowl-winning quarterback walked in the door. Because of where I was sitting I spotted him first and struggled to point him out to the rest of the table without causing a scene. He was very nice and even took a picture with Vinita as she told him it was her "last night in America" (see above, also see the picture of me and Vinita, who failed to look at the camera because she was looking at Drew Brees...haha). After we all collected ourselves from the shock off being in the same room with the Drew Brees, all 10 of us got our phones out and sat in silence texting, tweeting, and facebooking so all of our friends and families would know that we were in the presence of greatness. Drew Brees pointed to our table, his friends looked over at us, and then they all had a good chuckle laughing at us.
It was then that I began to think that our little group was a bit ridiculous. Sure it's exciting to meet a superbowl winner, but why were we all staring at our phones rather than staring at Drew Brees? This morning I got up and checked my email and facebook accounts. Then I decided to make french toast. That took me about 20 minutes. After making breakfast I sat down to eat and once again got out my computer to check my email and facebook again. As I admit my addiction to checking email, I think about my generations love of the iPhone, and their incessant need to have whatever designer cellphone they have at their side. What's the big deal about this technology?Simply put, it makes people feel important. It makes us feel needed. It makes us feel that we are a supply in demand.
I suppose that's how all technology has been. I imagine that the first chariot riders thought they were so important that they shouldn't have to actually ride a horse themselves to get from one place to another. The first watch wearers had such precious schedules that they couldn't waste a minute. The first home computer owners were so important they needed expensive technology that they had at work at home too. Now we are tweeting, facebooking and emailing because we are so important that everyone needs to know what we're doing/we need to know what everyone else is doing so we can be cool/witty/fun/relevant. I am convinced, that new technology is addicting because it gives people this false sense of self-worth. Any traditionally dorky person can suddenly be the coolest and trendiest person around with the help of the newest great thing.
Everyone wants to feel important. Everyone wants to be famous. Everyone wants to be cool, creative, and artsy. Everyone wants to have the ipod with the most gigs, the gps with the coolest accent (have you guys heard the caveman voice on those things?) and the Everyone wants to have a blog—oh, wait a second ...
Everyone wants to feel important. But I refuse to accept this phenomenon at face value. I think this goes much deeper to an incarnate need we have as humans to feel valued and loved.
While the search for self-worth can be extremely destructive when sought through artificial means, this search is an essential part of our emotional development. We are designed by God to seek acceptance and love from Him. But we always seem to search in all the wrong places.
However, I have to believe that this feeling of love and acceptance can sneak up on us. What I mean is, often when we put others above ourselves, or start to really depend on the Father for our needs, we start to realize that our worth in Christ, and we weren't even looking for it.