Thursday, April 30, 2009

What If God Were On Twitter

Here's the thing: I need to preface this post by saying, I am not one of those Christian-types who thinks all technology is somehow leading us down a path toward sin and degredation. To the contrary, I think for too long and much to the church's peril, Christians have ignored and discounted technology without seeing the potential benefits of it. I am not on Facebook, but I absolutely love Twitter. I don't know why. There's just something addictive about it. But I was thinking the other day about some of the consequences if God were on Twitter. Here are two I came up with that I think make me glad he's not.

1. Too much mystery would be lost. One of the reasons I think Twitter has become so popular is because we like knowing exactly what people are up to and thinking about at any given moment during the day. I don't buy the anti-Twitter argument that it's all mundane and boring. In fact, I think that's exactly why we love it so much. We want to know about the mundane and boring in our friends' (and Ashton Kutcher's) lives. But would that really be a good thing when it comes to God. See, we in America don't really have a high view for the mystery and "otherness" of God. (Our more Eastern Christian brothers and sisters get this concept a whole lot better than we do.) We like to think of him as knowable and here with us, and in a biblical, real sense that's true, but in thinking of him that way we can also lose some of the reverance and awe that comes from a God who's ways are not our ways and thoughts not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9). God has chosen to reveal a great deal about himself and given us the Holy Spirit to help us understand and often discern what he's doing and even sometimes his reasoning, but if we got too close. If we expected God to send a tweet everytime he got ready to make a decision, letting us know what he was thinking, and what he was up too, I wonder if we would forego the felt need to rely on what we know about his character during those times when we can't know what he's doing.

2. We would miss the wait. Another thing that's great about Twitter is that it gives us one more option for a quick response time. Notice next time you're using an actual Twitter program. Right under the status updates, are phrases like "sent less than a minute ago," or "sent about two minutes ago." It's quick, it's timely, we can send out something and have responses in fast. (The search engine on the even lets you know how many seconds it took to pull up your results.) And would we do the same if God started tweeting? Would we expect responses to our thoughts and questions to come with a little time phrase under them? Would we ask, expecting an answer with a log letting us know exactly how fast God got back to us? Waiting isn't fun for me. It's not something I do well, but it's also one of the best things about aging: you get more comfortable with the fact that things don't have to be instantaneous and, like the seer once said, "This too shall pass." When we lose the ability to wait, our only option is despair and hopelessness. One because we think God's forgotten about us, and two, because we think this is all there is.

God is certainly close and he definitely hears and answers the prayers of his children consistently, justly, and graciously. And at the end of the day, he's given us something much greater than Twitter to help us know him more.


Kat(i)e said...

If God were on Twitter his status would always just be "is". Get it?!

It's all we need to know...

Good thoughts. He can get intimate, but not in a flippant way. Choosing what He say when and to who. Perhaps we should all take a leaf out of that book!

JNoah said...

Kat(i)e: Funny stuff!