Just as hurry has made the present a place that few people are satisfied living in, technology and its communicative ability to transport us digitally someplace else and with someone else has made us more and more distant from the people who may need us right where we are.
Mark Galli, in a piece entitled “Does Twitter Do Us Any Good?” expounds on this point, “I often find myself so drawn to my Blackberry and laptop that I fail to be present with the flesh and blood person who is standing before me. I look at them and pretend like I’m listening, but my mind strains to get back to my email. The technology is obviously undermining my ability to be present in an embodied way to the real person in front of me.” [i]
Have you ever noticed how much Jesus, as presented in the Gospel, never seems to lose sight of the present moment? Consider the story of Jesus when his mother and siblings are trying to reach him (Mark 3:31-35) or the way the story of the healing of Jairus’ daughter progresses (Mark 5:21-43). Jesus is never in a hurry and never loses sight of an opportunity to minister in the very present moment.
[i] Galli, Mark. “Does Twitter Do Us Any Good?” Christianity Today 4 June 2009. Web.
Image by kharied via Flickr
On Dec. 4 I will run in the White Rock Marathon in Dallas. Once a week, I will provide my observations on the connection between the spiritual life and training to run a marathon. Please visit my White Rock fundraising page to honor my daughter and contribute to a great cause.
I have a sensor in my running shoe that can track how many miles I have run, at what pace I am running, and how many minutes I have been running. I then can upload that information to a website so I can chart my progress. Another site that I have found, called Daily Mile, allows me to enter my results for each workout in a Twitter like fashion. In Daily Mile, others in my social network can see my results and comment on my progress while I can do the same for them.
The ability to track your status and broadcast it to others keeps you accountable and makes it easier to set goals and see how much you have improved. Why isn’t there something like this for spiritual activities? Why can’t I track my daily Bible reading and let others know how I am doing? Why can’t I list prayers and then check them off when they have been answered? There are many spiritual disciplines that could be tracked and monitored and shared.
The reason we don’t have Christian Life Trackers is because we are afraid that we will become legalistic. Legalism occurs when you attach righteousness to spiritual activities. When I think that I have to complete certain spiritual tasks in order to receive favor from God or, in most cases, the church then I am being legalistic. How exactly is tracking my daily Bible reading being legalistic? I am simply finding a tool that will motivate me to continue reading and help me encourage others who are trying to do the same thing. Sure, there may be a level of competition and one up-manship involved but the rewards to making our spiritual lives more quantified far outweigh the temptation for pride and power.
I enjoy watching my progress through my marathon training and keeping up with how others are doing as well. I feel a kinship to friends, and some strangers, who are putting in good work towards their goals and I enjoy celebrating when they achieve something extraordinary. Doesn’t this sound like something we should be doing as fellow believers? Let’s find a good way to track and connect our spiritual journey.
I am working on a special post that maps out ways a Christian Life Hacker can use technology to enhance their spiritual life. Look for this post in the next couple of days. In the meantime, here are two easy ways that you can connect to this blog. First, click on the “Email Subscription” link to the right of this post. Once you filled out the proper information, you will begin to receive my posts in your email box whenever they are posted. Secondly, follow me on Twitter by visiting my @christlifehack feed or if you have a Twitter account, become a follower and get all of my Tweets in your feed list.
Juanita Rasmus’ experience with fixed-hour prayer?
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