“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” – 2 Timothy 1:7 NIV
As I mentioned in my intro to these posts back on Shrove Tuesday, one of the things that surprised me so much about all of the Tweets that Justin Forsett was sharing was how many of them I had previously highlighted in my Bible app. Today’s verse was one of those posts, and for the first time it made me curious about something that I had never really thought about before. Usually, it is pretty obvious why I highlight a certain verse. Either it is inspirational, thought-provoking, beautifully written, or one that I want to try to memorize. This time, however, I thought to myself, I wonder what was going on in my life at the time I highlighted this? Could I even figure that out? Well, I am here today to tell you that it is possible, we have the technology.
I first used the Bible app to determine the date that I highlighted the passage. It took a little work, but I was able to dig that information up. August 24, 2017. Then, once I had the date, I turned to the fascinating, albeit incredibly creepy, Google Timeline. It may go without saying but, if you give it the permission to, Google will literally track your every movement. I was able to go back in time to August 24, 2017, and see everywhere I had been on that day. And what sort of interesting or revealing information did I find?
Absolutely nothing. August 24, 2017 was a day like any other. A Thursday according to my calendar. I walked to work, spent the day at the office, headed to the gym, was picked up by my wife and driven home. It’s a day I’ve repeated over the last ten years more times than I can count. But as I think back on all those repetitions, I can’t help but find joy in their simplicity. The 30-minute walks to work were always glorious, made more so by the fact that I now have to drive to work every day. Getting picked up at the gym with my son in the backseat with a big smile on his face was the highlight of most of those days. Now that he is older and walks himself home from school, I really miss those pickups.
And the fact that I didn’t have to cram my days full of busy-ness meant that I had the space to write, which I started in earnest earlier that year. The discipline of that repetition gave me the space I needed to let the Holy Spirit into my life. Part of me thinks I highlighted this passage out of thankfulness for that space. And part of me thinks I did it to have a constant reminder to keep that space free. It hasn’t always worked out that way, but lately it has so I am thankful and reminded that I need to be disciplined in my “space saving”. And into that space I do everything I can to welcome the Holy Spirit to empower me, love me, and inspire me.