Nov 012010

Since everyone is on Facebook now (you are…right?), I thought it would be interesting to find out where it came from. Especially since everyone out there seems interested in telling the story of where it came from. Not only did Ben Mezrich write this book The Accidental Billionaires about the founding of Facebook, Aaron Sorkin wrote a screenplay based on the book which became the movie The Social Network.  Since it’s such a popular topic, I thought I would check Mezrich’s book out. I’m never one to miss a trend.

The Unauthorized (and Incomplete) Story of the Founding of Facebook

This book would have been more interesting if Mezrich had actually spoken with Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook. Zuckerberg, it turns out, really doesn’t want to talk about where Facebook came from.  So the book has some big holes. What Zuckerberg is interested in talking about, though, is where Facebook is going, and that is what makes this book so interesting from a spiritual perspective. Facebook is Mark Zuckerberg’s life. Reading the book I became acutely aware of just how much time Zuckerberg has spent on Facebook. Twenty hour days for months at a time. My guess is that he’s still working those kind of hours. Mark Zuckerberg has given his life to Facebook, which is probably why it is so good. By all accounts, it is something to which he is delighted to devote himself.

We should all be so lucky. Sort of.

It would be wonderful if all of us could find a calling in our life to which we could devote ourselves so gladly. The problem is choosing the right thing. I see people give their lives to corporate jobs all the time. It is the most important thing in their lives. I’ve seen it with sports, hobbies, kids. I’ve seen it with drugs and alcohol. For everything that is out there, there is someone who has devoted their life to it.  Not all those things give life back though. Some take it and keep it. Give your life to a corporate job and you will find yourself downsized at age fifty with a family you barely know. It happens all the time. Give your life to alcohol and you will end up in a gutter with no one willing to help you up. It happens all the time.

The trick, I have found, is to find the thing to which we can devote our lives that will give life back to us. That is the way to be happy. And the only things I have found that give life back are loving God and loving others. That’s it. That’s that only way. Those are the only things to which we can devote our lives and, at the end, find life to have been fulfilling.

Facebook makes life better for lots of people, so that’s a great thing for us and a great thing for Mark Zuckerberg. I hope all of us can find our own thing to which we can devote our lives and get life from it. But I hope we can all find that thing in the context of a relationship with a loving, caring God, because Zuckerberg is only getting half of the equation. He’s only experiencing half of the abundant life that’s out there. Which is better than many people, perhaps even most, but I’m like Mark Zuckerberg in that I like to dream big. Except that it’s not really my dream. It’s God’s dream, for all of us. God wants us all to have life and have it abundantly, and the way to do that is to find our calling, our unique way to love God and love others that gives us life. That is God’s vision for all our lives: to have life, and have it abundantly.

May you find it.