Thursday, May 29, 2014

No, Don't Listen to Yourself: A Brief Reflection on the Mayo Angelou Tweet

By now you are aware of two things (1) yesterday poet Maya Angelou died at the age of 86 and (2) her last tweet, published on May 23 was this:
At last count, that one, final tweet has been retweeted almost 70,000 times and favorited almost 48,000 times. In virtually every news story and obituary, that quote is shared.

On the surface, the tweet sounds spiritual but in the end, it is deceptive. The rise of spirituality in the West is essentially an adoption of eastern, mystical theology that emphasizes the inner self. Christianity, on the other hand, has traditionally (and rightly) emphasized the external for the internal, the self, is corrupt.

Another way of putting this is simply that to the Christian, the answer to life's many riddles is alien - it lies outside of ourselves. For Christians, we turn and listen to Christ, not ourselves.

Yet this final tweet has received the attention because it marks the end of a celebrated life and because it adequately summarizes the prevailing spirituality of the day. But I assure that if you look inside you will not hear God. God is found in Christ standing in our place there at Calvary. Our hope lies there, not in here.
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