Back in March of this year I was struck by an off hand comment a classmate made during a History of Christian Spirituality discussion. She said that James Martin SJ tweets his daily examen. I was fascinated by this idea. Why would someone tweet something so private and personal as his daily examen?
If you don’t know about Twitter, here’s a description from the book Click 2 Save: “Twitter is a micro-blogging platform, with every post limited to 140 characters, including spaces between words. Like blog posts, tweets tell a story in real time through short bursts of commentary and information. Likewise, the aggregation of tweets over time tells a more extended story.”
Something about the combination of the fleeting nature, the 140 character constraint, and the completely open forum of Twitter called to me spiritually. I thought about the impact Martin would have with his huge following by showing this deeply personal piece of himself in a really tight capsule. (Turns out he doesn’t tweet his examen right now but that is beside the point.) What could I do with the limited exposure I have on the web to highlight the notion that God lives and moves in this world, my world?
An entire examen every day was way too much for me to tweet. Yet, I believe that God moves in my life all the time, all I have to do is slow down enough to recognize it. In prayer, the notion of a gratitude a day began to evolve. Now the project has 4 requirements:
- it needs to be about me personally (I can’t tell another’s story for them),
- it needs to be on Twitter (public for anyone who wants to read it),
- it needs to be something specific (a particular thing that was important to me on that particular day),
- and the whole project should look like an ordinary life (because that it what it is… just my ordinary every day life).
This project has already given me a wonderful new way of viewing my day. I am constantly aware of the little things that I am grateful for during my day. I smile a bit more often now. Yet, there is another fruit of this labor. Somehow through this very specific, very constrained medium of Twitter, my life with God is getting recorded for others to witness.
That boggles my mind! While I was brought up to be a witness to the gospel, I never imagined it looking this way. I don’t try to convert anyone, I just share the little things I am grateful for in my day. I don’t believe this gives a full view of the gospel, my life, or Christianity. Hardly. Just a tiny peek into an ordinary life in our ordinary world with an extraordinary God.
What are you grateful for?