My six year old asked me one day if Barbie was around when I was a little girl. I chuckled and said yes, I then blew her mind by telling her that Barbie was even around when her grandmother was a little girl. She was amazed and then she said, "Wow! She must have a lot of subscribers!" Our kids are growing up in the age of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and popularity is measured by the number of people who "friend", "follow" and "subscribe". So for my six year old, Barbie being as old as her grandmother must mean she has obtained a lot of subscribers.
Friending someone is quite a casual thing when it comes to Facebook. There's no real commitment and you can passively watch their life events flash by on your newsfeed. Following on Twitter pretty much means you get a steady stream of someone's one-liners or you get to see a "reTweet" - a profound statement or quip made by your friend's friend. Subscribing to a blog or YouTube channel is quite a bit more commitment. You authenticate your relationship by not just clicking but responding to an email that states, "Yes, I really do want you to contact me with some paragraphs to read for a vlog to watch." You're basically saying, I'm pretty into you and I want to know more about what you think.
This gets me thinking about my relationship with Christ. Sometimes we're just friends and I casually see Him float by in my newsfeed but I don't pay too much attention. And sometimes I say I'm following Him. Seems so religious and pious, right? But if I'm only getting 120 characters a day, that's probably not much to feed the soul. So then I get to thinking about subscribing. Webster's says "subscribe" is a verb saying sometimes we give money or a pledge and purchase into something. Another part of the definition says when we subscribe, we assign or give consent to an idea or an activity. Subscribing is way more of a commitment than a "friend" or a "follow".
Christ asks us to take up our crosses and follow Him. He tells us to leave our mother and father behind and walk with Him. One guy said to him once, "I'm coming with you but I need to bury my dead father first." (Matthew 8)
Christ says, "Let the dead bury the dead." Jesus isn't telling us not to mourn our dead family members - but I think He's saying some of the stuff and some of the people we consume ourselves with daily are dead. He is the Life and until we decide to stop friending and following the wrong things, we'll be the dead burying the dead.
Perhaps it's time to check out our friends lists. Perhaps it's time take inventory of the things we are subscribing to. Is it self-image, money, awards, grades or public recognition? Where are we pledging our money and time? Are we putting our resources into the dead things of the world or the life giving work of Christ?