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There’s An App for That

8February2013

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This morning I download a cool app that lets you scan all your store loyalty cards into your Smartphone and scan them from there without having to carry all that plastic on your key ring. Great idea, right? If you want to lose weight, there’s an app called “Lose It” that tracks your calories and weight loss. You can even scan a bar code on a food item and it will transfer the nutritional information into your daily food log. We carry the world in our pockets now, it seems, and software developers are all too eager to make sure that whatever problem we may face, whatever need we may have, there’s an app for that.

This is not new. Long before the invention of the Smartphone, God was busy inspiring some people to create (what eventually became) a portable device that could be carried easily from place to place. This device stores a wealth of information that can never be fully exhausted. It offers practical guidance for everyday problems like discouragement and grief and betrayal. It offers eternal solutions for the guilt and shame that comes with sin.

Its called the Bible. My hunch is that if we spent a fraction of the time with this amazing app as we do messing with our mobile devices, our lives would be vastly different. Not perfect, mind you… but richer and fuller. Lent begins in less than a week, and in many traditions, fasting is encouraged as a way to focus more intently on God and what He has done to save us through the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus.  Some people fast only from certain foods like meat or chocolate. But for those of us who spend so much time on social media (often without even realizing it), why not fast a day or two a week from our gadgets?

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Survey after survey tells us that while people are more connected than ever, we are also lonelier and more isolated than ever. This Lent, I want to get with some people who are searching, like I am, for something more. I want to open the Scriptures with them and dwell in the promises that God has for us. Are you exhausted from trying to meet the unrealistic expectations of others? There’s an app for that: “Come to me, all you who are weary from carrying heavy burdens,”  Jesus says, “and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28). Are you anxious? There’s an app for that: “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything through prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7).

Problems with relationships? There’s an app for that: “Bear with one another and if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive… just as the Lord has forgiven you.” (Colossians 3:13). Struggling financially in a bad economy? There’s an app for that: “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or “What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’… indeed your heavenly father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:31-33).

Let’s not miss what God has for us this Lent. Let’s power down, intentionally  and regularly. Let’s unplug and log off so that we can tap into the story that makes sense of all our stories. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him might not perish, but have eternal life.”  (John 3:16). Now there’s an app! 

+ jam@ccd

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