by: Carter Moore
I currently live in what I consider to be one of the most beautiful places in the world. My house is situated not too far from the base of Pike’s Peak in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and every morning I get to look up and see a stunning mountain and know that God loves me enough just to make mountains for me to gawk at.
Now I love mountains and the wilderness just as much as the next guy, in fact I even started the hashtag #Explorationgram a few years ago to encourage others along with myself to get out and experience what the Lord has created. However, I have noticed a huge trend recently in posting only photos of grand landscapes and serene lakes across all social media networks and I feel the need to address it.
Why are we posting what we post? Are we posting photos of mountains and landscapes because we know that it will garner more social engagement? Is it about the likes? The new followers? Hoping maybe that one person that we’ve looked up to will finally notice our work? I am not saying it’s wrong inherently to post photographs of captivating areas of the world, but what I am asking is: are we making our decisions of what we choose to photograph based on what people will notice and applaud or based on what connects to us and resonates with who the Lord has created us to be?
I have known many people who take long trips into the wilderness or go on hikes just to take a photo showing that they “live adventure” and not because they genuinely care about the memories being made, the people they spent time with, or that they even care about being outdoors. Heck, there have been times where I’ve been that person. Everyone knows that photos of landscapes are beautiful and get noticed more, but what is the point of taking that photo if it doesn’t connect with who God has created you to be? What are we to gain from the applause of others?
Over the last few months, I have stopped taking photos of things that I know will get more likes. I just have taken photos of things that I connect with. Sure, not every one of these photos is amazing, in fact the majority of them “perform” way lower than my landscape photos, but who cares. I love the Lord. I love people. I love the little nuances about my neighborhood that make it unique. I love the way the sun hits the tiny buildings of my mundane downtown. I photograph because it’s a part of who I am. I don’t know why the Lord made me to be a visual person, I really don’t. But, when I look back on my life when I’m old and grey, I don’t want to just see a multitude of emotionally disconnected photos of mountains. Sure, they may be beautiful to look at, but if they don’t accurately represent me and who God created me to be, then what purpose do they serve?
My challenge to each and every one of us in this digital sharing age is to really take time and evaluate our intentions for why we do what we do and share what we share. Does what you share accurately describe you? Are you living to please man and receive the “honor” from your peers? Are you sacrificing real moments and genuine connection for a brief mountain of fame?
Prayer: Lord, keep my heart pure and free from pride that separates You and I. Let my motives come from a place of prayer and knowing You rather than from a place of desiring fame and recognition. At the end of my days, I want to look back and know that I used the gifts that You have given me to bring glory to Your name instead of building a monument to myself. Amen.