Do You Have an App for Your Life?

Our lives become increasingly digitalized with our smartphones and tablets. We are now a mobile culture.

Text messages and emails fly from our fingers. Memories of family events and vacations dance across our computer screens and smartphones. We can have face-to-face conversations real-time with anyone anywhere from our phones.

Behind the scenes of our digital life, the apps grind away connecting and communicating us to the outside world.

Do you have an app for your life?

It was seven years ago this month that Apple introduced the iPhone and the world changed. Whether you like Apple products or not, this one device revolutionized the way most of us interact with our world.

Then when the iPad, and all its knockoffs, entered the digital world the game changed even more as they transformed the way most people communicate and access information.

Smartphones and tablets even introduced a new word into our vocabulary . . . “app” . . . a short-hand word for “application.”  Have you heard people say, “Do you have an app for that?” or “What app are you using?”

Now, seven years later, there are hundreds of thousands of apps. It seems there is always an app for just what you need.

Your mobile devices can take pictures and manipulate them in untold ways. They can tell you where you are supposed to be and when. They can even talk you there by giving you directions.

You can check the weather, watch a movie, read a book, or play innumerable games. You can skim your feed on Facebook, carry on a conversation on Twitter, or share photos with Instagram.

You can track your weight, take online classes, do research, or find the nearest restaurant.

The question is, “Do you have an app for your life?”

Of course, you could say that all these apps are for your life. They help you manage the constant stream of data moving through your daily existence.

I get that and I use my digital devices in such a way that I always have everything I need at my fingertips at any moment.

As I begin this year and focus more on my spiritual life, I have been thinking lately about what app would work best for my life.

I have a cool app from the Mission of St. Clare that provides daily Bible readings for me. I use the Olive Tree Bible app for all my work in Scripture with multiple translations, study bibles, and tools at my fingertips. I know, though, even they are not really apps for my life.

As much as I am digitally adept and fully accessorized, I realize there is no app for what I deeply need.

Even with the increased sophistication of our digital tools, I am confident there is no app for our life. No app can embrace the who we are that cannot be captured digitally.

If I lay aside my iPad and my iPhone, step away from the computer, and become unplugged I can pause the digital stream in my life. In the stillness I am reminded of the beat of my heart, the air on my skin, and the dreams in my heart.

I do not want nor need an app for that moment.

On this day, for the longest moments you can, set aside your digital tools, and breathe deeply. Drink in a beautiful scene. Listen to your heartbeat.

Be alive.