Thursday, June 3, 2010

Do You "Tweet" God?

I am starting this new feature, something I am calling "Theology Thursday" - a fancy name for a simple subject: this is no Summa Theologica, just a weekly post showing how I try to live my faith, day in and day out.


When I got my first email address as a college student in 1991, I was thrilled with how easy it was to keep in touch with my friends across campus and across the country. I had near-instant communication that no one could overhear. Who could have imagined technology getting better than that?

Fast forward 20 years, and we've taken "keeping in touch" to heights nearing the summit of Mt. Everest. With iPhones and Facebook, Instant Messaging and Twitter, we know what our friends and family -- and what their friends and family -- are up to, every minute of the day.

But, I wonder.

We spend so much time keeping connected to each other, updating each other on the smallest of achievements (bought groceries, drinking a glass of iced tea, homework done!). Do we spend the same time keeping connected to God?

As we've learned from Facebook and Twitter, a lot of communication can happen in a few words. But you have to post (or tweet) for that communication to happen.

The same is true with God. It's not enough for me to get my hour of worship once a week. To have a real relationship with God, I need to keep in touch with the Him throughout my days. It doesn't need to be lengthy. It doesn't need to take hours. Help me, Lord. Guide my heart, please. Jesus, be with me.

Some days, I get a longer time to sit quietly in prayer. I think of those moments as email messages to a dear friend. But, I am learning that there is great value in the short "tweet"-like prayers throughout my day. A quick "help me be patient, Lord" when I hear a crash and scream from the other room. A Hail Mary when an ambulance passes by. Pausing in the midst of preparing dinner to offer thanks for the food I am preparing, and a blessing on those who don't have dinner that night.

These shorter prayers, interspersed throughout my days, have brought me closer to God, and helped me to see Him as readily accessible. He is not some distant god sitting on top of Mt. Olympus, waiting to catch me sinning. He's right here with me in the muck and the mess and the craziness of parenting and teaching and living.

On the days when I "tweet" God, when I turn my heart and mind to the Lord in short bursts, everything seems just a little more manageable, and I feel just a little less crazy.

Who ever could have imagined that a short, simple form of communication could be so powerful?

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