Have you ever texted God?
You know, when you send up a quick prayer in the middle of something else, like you’d text a friend.
“Hey, God, I can’t find my keys and we have to leave in 5 minutes. Please give me clarity!!”
“God, You are so good!! Thank you!!”
“How do I reach this person? Lead my words please, Holy Spirit.”
“Please heal [friend who is sick] and give them your peace during this time.”
Recently, I’ve realized that this has become the bulk of my prayer life, which I’m not OK with.
Why? (you might ask)
Have you ever met a friend at a camp, vacation, or other short-term experience? You get close to them, exchange numbers, and promise to keep in touch. But how often does your relationship stay that close or get better? Not very often, at least in my experience. Some friendships are close enough or evenly-enthusiastic (where both of you desperately want to talk to each other) to stay close, but it’s always a different dynamic over text. You can’t help it!
In my experience, when you have a solely text-based relationship, it deteriorates.
Example: I have/had two very close friends from camp this summer, one I text, one I email. The email relationship “lasted” longer, as in, we talked more, and more frequently, than my texting friend, but it still was less fulfilling than talking in person, and we’ve drifted apart by virtue of busy schedules and other important things. My texting friend is a lovely person, one of my favorite people I’ve ever met, but we have different lives! If we hung out in person, I know we’d reconnect really well, but it’s just not the same over text.
But when you spend quality time with your friend, even when that’s just hanging out after church because your moms are talking (this never happens to me 🙂 ), you get a feel for their tone, their personality, and their character. You invest in the relationship in an almost tangible manner, and that counts immensely. (Also, as a physical touch person, being able to interact physically (waving, hugging, smiling, making eye contact, hearing actual laughter, and pretending (or not) to hit them when they’re teasing you) is huge.)
(wow, a three-deep parentheses nest! … I’m not sure I should be proud of that, lol)
This applies to our relationship with God tremendously.
When the only contact we have with God is over text, we lose the personal connection we had with Him whenever we last (first) truly connected with Him, whether it be at church, church camp, or in a middle-of-the-night prayer session.
In the Psalms (I’m mainly thinking about 119, but there are definitely a lot of others), David raves about his joy in God’s commands, how they direct his life in blatant ways, how they give him a reason to live, and how God is really incredible (but that’s obviously a huge understatement). He sounds like me when I talk with my friends about a close friend who we all think is awesome and are just really thankful for.
But do you know how we got to know that really awesome friend? BY SPENDING TIME WITH THEM.
We have to have “face to face” talks with God to really keep the beauty of our relationship with Him alive. This usually works best in a private place, though I’ve had some intense prayer arguments with God that left me in tears at His goodness in a group setting. 🙂 Setting aside time for, well, anything is something I struggle with, but it’s so important that I can’t afford to let it slip away from me.
This is my resolution. To stop letting other “priorities” in my busy high school lifestyle get in my way of my time with God. Texting Him needs to be a supplement to our awesome recurring “face to face” conversations.