I’ve often found that in significant moments in my life and in my walk with God I like to have a physical reminder of that encounter. It might be a pebble from a beach, or a sketch I’ve drawn in my journal. We see this happening in scripture – after the Israelites have crossed the river Jordan with Joshua, he tells each tribe leader to take a stone from the bed of the river to make a lasting monument to that event. We find it so easy to forget the blessings we’ve received – it’s why God gives us physical re-enactments like Holy Communion to remind us of His goodness to us.
Those of you who know me know that I always have my mobile phone with me. It’s a permanent fixture. Whilst I try and ‘switch off’ sometimes, recently I have been using the camera in my smartphone to aid my spiritual reflection. I’m fortunate enough to be studying right next to Durham Cathedral and also recently to have been on retreat in the Northumberland countryside – places that lend themselves to prayer and evoking wonder. So I’ve been using the Instagram app on my phone to capture small moments that I hope, at another time, will remind me of what God was saying to me the day I took the photo.
The beauty of social media is that the moment that you’ve captured might also evoke a reaction in others – from all over the world. You won’t know my personal story behind these images – that remains between me and God – but the images can, I hope, as I share them still inspire and move others to see something of God.
A new feature on Instagram is the ‘photo map‘. I spent some time the other day looking at my map and reminiscing – some of the trips I’ve taken to Abbeys this year I had nearly forgotten about.
Just as a written journal can be a real aid to reflection and prayer, so can a collection of photos on a site like Instagram.
How do you capture and remember significant moments in your life?