“Great things are done through grace, and one attribute of the great things which grace enables the soul to do is their lastingness, their continuance, their permanent life and strength, as years roll past. I say, the works of grace are permanent.”
— Bl. John Henry Newman, p. 184, The Quotable Newman.
A measure of one’s fame (and sometimes profit) in our social media, internet-connected world is how many “likes” one gets for a picture, video or Facebook, twitter, or blog post or how many “followers” one can claim. It seems that many people now live for the purpose of finding or electronically publishing something that will “go viral.”
Why, why has this become so important? (Oh, by the way, I once had a blog, an attack blog, that at times got over 10,000 hits a day and yes, I was just conceited enough to think that was something.)
Today, these records of electronic observations is perceived as the new way to instant fame and/or notoriety. But, as the old adage goes, “fame is fleeting” and what is viral today will likely be forgotten by next week. What do “likes” and “followers” accomplish?
At one time, my attack blog did bring about some change in a certain organization, but now, twenty years later I have to ask myself, “Was it worth it?”
Maybe if you have a company that get to advertise through your posting, then gets “likes” and “followers” will mean a person gets paid more, but how does it change our world? Will our “likes” and “followers” mean anything in eternity? Will our status with God depend on our “trending” or not?
The above quote from Newman speaks to what we should be paying the most attention, acts of grace. Acts of grace do change lives, make tremendous social impact, and in the end will be the most important elements of our lives. Yet rarely are they “trending.” Rarely do they bring and profit or notoriety in our current culture, but they will last for all eternity in the mind of God and in the soul’s who receive then with gratitude. There is a deep and powerful reason on of the most recognized and sung songs on this planet is the song, “Amazing Grace.” Something deep down inside of every human being there is an awareness of our need of grace.
I am thankful that I am now getting old enough, mature enough, and time-tested enough to grasp how much I owe to grace. Grace is never deserved but yet continuously bestowed. It can never be earned but is lavished upon us by God. And I know when I take my final breath in this world, it will be grace and only grace that will matter in eternity.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.
(2 Cor. 12:9-10 NRS)