Perhaps it’s a mid-life crisis or the Dennis Rodman in me that wants to be as bad as I want to be, but I was seriously considering getting a tattoo on my hand for my…ahem, 46th birthday. Why would I want to draw attention to a place that dons an impressive collection of scars, age spots and wrinkles?
I have a Fitbit to track what I eat and how much I work out. I only take it off to shower and sleep and I’ve been accused by my husband of being a bit obsessive with it. I also have an app that tracks and reminds me to drink water. It makes a swooshing sound periodically to remind me to hydrate. I can compete with others, share results and get a printout of my weekly stats. Impressive.
I realized the other day however, I am more preoccupied with my water and caloric intake than I am my faith. Why don’t they make an app with an intermittent prayer reminder or one that beeps or maybe shocks me when I’m feeling jealous of another woman’s hair, job or perfect body. Why isn’t my concern for my spiritual improvement more important than the stairs I climb or ounces I drink?
Although I’m not getting a tattoo (for this birthday, anyway), I’ve been inking myself daily. When I was considering getting a tattoo I was going to get a tiny cross under my wedding ring so when I was convicted about tracking the condition of my heart I knew the perfect spot for my “app.”
(Almost) every day I read a short passage in the Bible, I write it down, ask questions about the text as it relates to me and how it applies to my life. I then find one word in the passage to try to meditate on for the day.
If you look under my wedding ring, you’ll see that word written in Sharpie. The word or phrase is usually pretty smeared by the end of the day, but that’s okay because every day when I read my Bible God gives me a new word. It isn’t a fool proof method and I’m not saying merely by being reminded we magically look more like Jesus (that’s the Spirit’s work), but I’m finding change happens best for me with reminders that are right under my nose. Just like getting in better physical shape, sometimes simply bringing an awareness of God to a conscious level in our busy and distracted minds, makes all the difference.

Jill Briscoe said regarding prayer to do what works for you. If praying to a worship song or thru the Psalms helps you hear God more clearly, do it. If Sharpie-ing myself is how I can hear from God even one more time than I would without doodling on myself, so be it. It is not so much how we keep focused on God, but that we figure out and follow through on actually doing so every day.