Sometimes the old fashioned way is far superior to more ‘cutting edge’ approaches.
I think that’s likely the case when it comes to our communication today, too. I choose the form based on what needs to be said and for whom the message is intended.
With my life-long family friends, some of whom don’t use a computer (gasp!), snail mail still reigns supreme. It might take a long time to arrive, but it is received with joy, spread out on the kitchen table over a cup of tea. A lengthy reply will come, but perhaps not for weeks.
To tap friends with some details of my life that don’t warrant a quick response but have some finer points that deserve embellishment, I send an email.
When dialog is essentially unnecessary and I’m just trading information — desirous of an expedient reply — a text message is the way to go.
What on earth does this have to do with anything ‘spiritual’? Fair question.
My communication with God has suffered of late. No particular trigger. No bad experience or painful situation causing me to avoid Him. Just less of it. In shorter bursts. More of an information exchange than a conversation with the Lover of my soul.
Turns out, I’ve been ‘texting’ God.
- I’ve been firing off prayer requests on behalf of friends in a staccato reminiscent of gunshots.
- I return thanks for meals and other provisions, my eyes barely blinking in the time it takes to complete the prayer.
- I’ll ask for insight into the scriptures or situations, only to cross my arms and tap my toes impatiently if my so-called prayer doesn’t bounce back with SMS speed.
Is He away from His ‘phone’ or out of range? Certainly not. And He is capable of response before the words even form on my lips. The problem lies in me. (Obviously, Kirsten.)
I fail repeatedly to remember the purpose of prayer: to cultivate in my heart a deeper connection to Him and to learn how to align my will with His — not vice-versa.
For these to take place, I must commit to more than a mere exchange of information and yield myself to the interaction of a hand-written missive of old. One ripe with anticipation, detail and delight, unbound from mental lists and calendar appointments.