The daily examen is a 500-year-old practice in the church where we intentionally set aside time at the end of the day to reflect on how God had been present throughout the day. Through this practice we can look back and think of how we saw something of God’s love or goodness through something we experienced, or we can see the ways that God was prompting us towards something. Perhaps we may take note of places where we have fallen short and invite God’s continued transformation within us. Whatever the case is for you, this practice is a rich way of increasing our awareness of how the ordinary parts of our days are spaces where we can see God at work. It does not have to be rare or extra-ordinary for it to be infused with God’s goodness and his truth and beauty.
God’s work and goodness is found in the ordinary times of going for walks, having a few minutes for a nap or talking to a neighbour. To help facilitate this there are some questions you can ask yourself at the end of a day or week. We can try use technology to help facilitate these questions.
This week, listen to this 8-minute Daily Examen created by Pray as You Go (it’s really 5 minutes as the first minute and final 2 minutes are ambient music). Ensure that you have the time and space to be silent and participate in the prayer that it guides you through:
In a similar way, you are invited to do an examen of your digital spaces that you inhabited throughout the day. Try to remember when you were on your phone, computer, TV. Remember the apps you used, the text messages you received, the zoom calls you were part of, the games you played.
Ask yourself similar questions to what was asked in the examen:
1. How did you spend your digital time?
2. What places did you go?
3. Who were you with and what was happening?
4. Were there any difficult things in what you encountered online?
5. Were there times that were life giving?
After the examen, reflect on what sort of presence you have through your digital life:
1. What ways are you able to be light to others?
2. In which ways, good or bad, are you being formed as you engage online or on your devices?
3. Was there anything you were surprised, intrigued, or embarrassed of?
Listen to this podcast from Tish Harrison Warren, author of Liturgy of the Ordinary. In the podcast she reflects on her book and the call for Christians to be formed in the every day – day to day types of activity. The podcast can be found at by searching Renovare and going to episode 70 on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you find your podcasts or by clicking on this link:
Tish Harrison Warren talks about how seeing God in the ordinary isn’t simply about seeing these magical transcendent moments in our day – but how we can invite God into the mundane things and the things that are not glamorous. How do you prevent yourself from defaulting to gravitating towards seeking God only in the dazzling things?
She also talks about the need for deeper practices to sustain us in the day to day. What deeper practices do you have to sustain yourself in the ordinary ways?
In Tish Harrison Warren’s book she takes things like waking up, going to bed, cooking and eating, working and resting, as part of her daily liturgy. What sorts of activities are part of your liturgy? How can you bring greater intentionality into those routines throughout your day? How might you shape your routines differently after hearing this podcast?
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” — Mark 12:30-31
“You may have noticed the image that we’re using each week for our Tech-Wise series in our announcement slides, on social media, and in the sermon graphics. The image wasn’t chosen at random, but intentionally designed. The two component parts to the image are stained glass windows from a cathedral and a circuit board overlaid on top. The stained-glass windows, depicting Biblical stories, immediately invoke a feeling of the sacred — the spiritual. While the circuit board, which is at the heart of every electronic device, plays a dynamic role in technology today.
These two images are intricate in their own rights, and as they merge they create a complex design; it’s difficult to tell where one ends and the other begins. The sacred space intersects with technology. Much in the same way our lives, built on Christ’s story, can co-exist in this world, built on technology.
Now this blending of the sacred with technology isn’t a negative result. It can look messy and confusing; however, it can also be a beautiful merging of how we can live out God’s call on our lives facilitated by technology, as long as it’s done in a healthy and intentional way.”