Staying Spiritually Connected on the Web

The digital world, like the real world, can provide both opportunity for spiritual growth and a block to it. It’s our choice.

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I picked up a book that crossed my desk called Digital Disciple, Real Christianity in a Virtual World, by Adam Thomas.

I figured he’d do the easy thing: let me know how all this time I spend on the web, reading, blogging, friending, connecting, was getting in the way of my spiritual life.

Not so fast. Thomas, an Episcopal priest and self-described Millennial not much older than my own kids, can perceive that “replacing real life with a virtual life programmed in California kept me from seeking adventure in the world beyond my computer screen.” But then he describes a tragic fire that destroyed his seminary chapel and suddenly through the web, the hundreds of students who’d worshipped there over the years are worshipping together and communing online.

This digital world, like the real world, can provide both opportunity for spiritual growth and a block to it. It’s our choice.

For years now, I’ve put people I’m praying for as my passwords. Trying to remember who I’m praying for as I search my mind for a password gives me a chance to pray while logging on.

Thomas suggests praying every time you search the Internet. “I don’t know about you, but if my prayers equaled my Google searches, I would have a much closer relationship with God. Jesus promised that those who search will find.” The inward search while the outer search proceeds.

There are times when you need to turn off the tech world. We needed to do that in the old pre-web, pre-computer, pre-cell phone days, too. Give yourself an unplugged Sabbath.

But when you’re hooked back up, you can still stay connected. I’ve got Thomas’s idea in mind for my next Google search. Thanks, Adam.

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