Spiritual Practice (and Technology?)

So now that I’ve given up on “daily devotions” as the only way and the only time to be with God, what’s next? What does it mean to move beyond the same time, same place, 10-minutes-in-the- morning-and-I’m-done-for-the-day, see-ya-tomorrow-God-I’m-off-to-the-rest-of-my-life-without-you caricature of daily devotions?

My apologies for the caricature—after all, I still write regularly for a daily devotional magazine which I hope people will continue to read!—but my point is that authentic Christian living is about all of life, not just those few minutes to start off the day with Scripture and prayer.

For me, it’s been much more helpful to think in terms of daily spiritual practices that recall me to God and keep me grounded throughout my day. One morning I might read a psalm, and carry a single phrase with me for the rest of the day.  I might listen to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons as I’m washing dishes, and give thanks to the One who created each season, who created music, who gave me the view out my window, who is with me in my kitchen. I might withdraw for a moment of silence in the middle of a noisy day, or go out of my way to speak to a neighbour whose husband died last month, or give an extra donation to charity. For me, these are spiritual practices that turn my mind and heart to God, that open me to God’s presence in my life and in the lives of others.

Godspace had a great series on spiritual practice that included being quiet, running, colouring, creating, washing dishes, composting, drinking tea, playing children’s games, tweeting—wait, Twitter as spiritual practice? I wasn’t as sure of that one as I was of the others. Isn’t technology rather at odds with spirituality? Isn’t Twitter part of what philosopher Albert Borgmann calls the device paradigm of our age, a disposable reality v. the commanding reality of encountering God?

If I spend my screen time mindlessly surfing, then technology might be more of a spiritual drain than a benefit, that keeps me away from real engagement with others and with God. But when I connect with a friend who requests prayer for her son, when I Facebook a message of encouragement to someone who is struggling, when I hear what’s happening in the world and bring that to God in prayer, when I learn about spiritual practice from others, and can share my own experience, then maybe Godspace is right, that even technology can be part of spiritual practice too.

Writing/Reflection Prompt:  What do you think?  How much time do you spend on social media, and is it a help or a hindrance to your spiritual life?


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