Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Naptime as Divine Office & Smartphone as Acolyte: Technology's Ability to Usher Us into the Presence of God

"You can never catch your breath in this house," I said to my wife after another failed attempt to put our youngest down for a nap.

I huffed back up the steps, lifted our crying son out of the crib, plopped myself in the recliner, and tried once again to soothe him back to sleep.

I also pulled out my iPhone, opened a YouTube playlist complete with some my favorite contemplative hymns (#PresbyNerd), turned the volume on low, and whispered to our nine-month old the lyrics of John Bell's, "The Summons." 

As each verse appeared on the screen, complete with kitcshe background images, I caught my breath. 

I also realized gratitude for these holy moments must become my reactive posture more so than lament about what I could or should be doing instead of caring for our young children. 

Maybe there needs to be a new category for Divine Offices: when putting little ones to sleep. 

Maybe we also need to see our smartphones and various technological tools not so much as distractions, although they can be, rather accessible acolytes into the very presence of God. We may be surprised how the Creator of all things can use even the most complex technologies to breathe calm in the midst of chaos.

Here are a few ways the smartphone or tablet can serve as everyday acolyte, whether a caregiver in the middle of a late-night rocking, a working professional looking to engage in spiritual formation during a brief lunch break, or a minister making the daily commute to the office:

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