Thursday, June 22, 2017

Begoogled: How Google Led Me Astray

Have you ever been asked a question–you know that question that hits so close to home it takes your breath away? I have.

It was a simple, perfectly worded, loaded question.

What are your top three priorities in life based on the time you currently spend on them (not what you think they should be)? – paraphrased from Propel Women

I was in a large group of women broken up into smaller groups and we were asked to discuss our answers. Thankfully, after a long drive I immediately had to use the restroom, which gave me time to think. In the solitude and silence, the Lord asked me the question again, “What are your top three priorities in life based on the time you currently spend on them (not what you think they should be)?” Not in a condemning or judgmental way, but in a “I just want you to see it” way.

I saw it.

It was shocking.

When I returned to my group I blurted out, “For over a year now we have really struggled with two of our children,” I said. “So much so, that there have been days I did not think I could do it anymore. Days when I felt hopeless, afraid, and defeated. We tried many things and nothing seemed to work, so I turned to Google. Every time and I mean every time something happened I would Google it. Google is #1 on my priority list.”

“Eight year old hit sibling”

“What to do when your child steals”

“How to handle lying”

“Consequence for (insert behavior here)”

Google always gave me an answer, millions to be exact. Pouring over them, I sank deeper into hopelessness, fear, and defeat. In the midst of the torment Google never once tried to comfort me, encourage me, or remind me of the good things happening in my life.

I was begoogled! According to Urban Dictionary begoogled means, “To be sent on a quest with no clear or definite answer. To be given the runaround.”

Google whispered, “Here are the answers, all 1,234,588 of them,” encouraging self-sufficiency and doubt.

Google sneered, “You can do it, I won’t help you, but I will keep giving you answers to keep you frustrated and stuck in your situation,” encouraging guilt and hopelessness.

Google said, "Trust me. I will handle this for you, you just take your peace” 

Google never bore a cross, so that I might have life and have it more abundantly.

You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched (begoogled) you? (Galatians 3:1 Emphasis mine)

One of the sweet ladies at my table, after hearing my answer said, “You need to have time with the Lord in prayer and worship,” which sparked another startling revelation. “I do,” I cried, “but I don’t bring these issues to Him because I have already spent hours working on it with Google.”

And since then I realized that I was afraid to bring it to Him, because I have been taught to bring my best (nobody wants your baggage) but He does! My thoughts sound something like this, “If Google and I could just fix this mess, then the Lord and I can have our ‘special’ time with no mess.” Ugh, it sounds worse as I type it.

I was groomed for a lifetime of self-sufficiency, causing me to struggle to “give it to God” for fear He won’t take care of it.

Last week my body reminded me just how self-sufficient I had become. I had pain from my neck all the way down to my feet. The Lord reminded me of the “self-protective” stance I take in which my muscles prepare for attack and tense up ready to protect. That is not the Lord’s plan for me, His word says that He is my refuge and my shield and He fights for me.

Google doesn’t know me or my family. 

Google didn’t fashion me in my mother’s womb. 

Google doesn’t even have a plan for my life–good, bad, or indifferent. 

I have been asking the right questions,
just asking the wrong person, so to speak.

With Google being my number one priority (that hurt) the real priorities in my life didn’t have a chance. This was a deep conviction, one I needed to hear and one I believe God prepared me to hear. It made an immediate impact and I haven’t Googled anything relating to discipline in almost a month. Google is now just a temptation to be self-sufficient.

Now I ask you “What are your top three priorities in life based on the time you currently spend on them (not what you think they should be)?”

Father, thank you that Your Holy Spirit leads us into all truth. I ask You to use the brief moments we have to speak to our hearts and change us. May we yield to You and Your correction without condemnation. Your thoughts toward us are good, help us to have good thoughts toward ourselves. Help us recognize the false comforters we have come to rely on and give us the courage to eliminate them from our lives. Amen

Update: With this being such a deep conviction I have successfully refrained from "Googling" multiple times a day and can count on one hand how many times I have googled discipline issues since the original posting of this article.

Originally published on Mothers With a Mission on October 21, 2016, with minor adjustments

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