Are you into texting? If so, do you ever get text messages from God or Jesus? Do you ever send God or Jesus a text message? Maybe you do—without even knowing it. But before I get to those two questions, here are a few interesting facts about text messaging.
- The formal name for the app that makes texting possible is Short Message Service (SMS). The idea for text messaging was conceived in 1984 by a Finnish engineer Matti Makkonen. But it would take other engineers eight years to turn the idea into a reality. The first text message was successfully sent in 1992. What did it say? Merry Christmas.
- Why do people love texting so much? They say they love it for its reliability, immediacy, ease, speed, and wide range of uses. Texting also costs less than a phone call.
- Psychologists say we tend to say things in a text we might not say face to face. In a text, it’s okay to be a little more honest, revealing, and even spunky or touchy. A text provides some distance between “texter” and “textee,” and that distance can make us more direct than we would be face to face.
- An estimated 81% of Americans text. Younger Americans send ten times as many texts as people over 65. In fact, people between the ages of 18-25 send 2,022 texts per month. The average teenager sends 3,339 texts per month! Worldwide, over 22 billion texts are sent every day.
5) Since the maximum characters allowed in a text message is 160, people have come up with a variety of symbols and shorthand for texting. Here are a few of them. First, there are the popular facial expressions called emoticons:
🙂 smiling… 😎 smiling with glasses… :-0 shouting … :-* kiss … :’-( crying … : -l determined … O:-) angel.
Then there’s the shorthand: 2l8 – too late… 4e – forever… AML – all my love… B4N – bye for now … Cm – call me… ?4U – a question for you… toy – thinking of you.
Sup – What’s up?… Wru – Where are you?… OFC – of course… plz – please… ily – I love you… DK – don’t know… MGB – may God bless… J4F – Just for fun… BBS – be back soon.
PCM – please call me… WTG – way to go!… h&k – hugs and kisses… THX – thank you… SRY – sorry… T2ul – talk to you later… H2CUS – hope to see you soon.
“Do 2 others as U would have them do 2 U.”
“Trust in G.”
“IM w/ U always.”
“Do not let ur hearts be troubled.”
“Love ur enemies.”
“Peace B w/ U.”
“Come 2 me.”
“Give THX to the L for he is good.”
But perhaps God sends you text messages without words or a smartphone. Might these be “text messages” from God? We feel the urge to reach out to someone in need… We’re cooking supper and are suddenly filled with gratitude… We marvel at a lovely sunset or the first crocus… We hear the chirp of a robin or the gentle patter of rain on the roof and are comforted… We’re driving and our favorite song starts playing on the car radio… We’re inspired by a sentence we read in a spiritual book… A stranger smiles at us… The cat hops onto our lap and starts purring… A friend calls just when we need it…
Do we send “text messages” to God throughout our day? Perhaps we’re in the habit of talking with God as we make our way through the day. Maybe some of our short prayers are really like simple text messages:
Plz give me patience.
I don’t know what 2 do.
Where R U?
w/o U IM 0.
We often think of prayer as having a conversation with God. And that’s good and fine. But there’s also something to be said for these brief messages we send to God and receive from God throughout our busy day. Like texting, these messages are reliable, immediate, quick, and easy. They keep us mindful and connected to the One who loves us more than we can imagine. 😉
What has been your experience with texting?
What has been your experience with sending and receiving messages from God throughout your day?
The song today is “I Need Thee Every Hour” sung by Fernando Ortega. The song’s history is interesting. It was written in 1872 by a Baptist woman named Annie Hawks. She was a wife and mother of three. One day when she was going about her ordinary household chores, the title of this song came to her. She was deeply moved by the words and eventually composed this song. During her lifetime, Annie Hawks wrote over 400 hymns. This is her most famous.
Do you have anything to say about today’s reflection or song? If so, please respond below.
PS: Thank you for your prayers for my talk in Camden, NJ on March 3 and my retreat for the IHM Sisters in Camilla Hall in Immaculata, PA, from March 4-9. Unfortunately, bad weather cancelled my flight to Philadelphia and I was unable to go to Camden. I’m so sorry! But I was able to fly out two days later and lead the retreat for the IHM Sisters. What a beautiful, lively, prayerful, and inspiring group of women they are! Over 180 Sisters made the week long retreat entitled, “How Can I Keep from Singing?” Thank you to all who made my time at Camilla Hall so beautiful and memorable!