The number 140 holds more power than any other number. It limits thoughts, it is the barb-wired fence of ideas, it is the cataclysmic death to a train of words formed together to make a sentence. Unlike most other social media sites, 140 commands a person to use word combinations to prove a point in a way that requires skill, determination, and a perfunctory grasp on whatever language they speak (if you’re like me, we can both forget about that last statement). You may have a world changing idea. You may have a universally renown invention just waiting to be shared with all mankind. You may hold a thought that will absolutely revolutionize your surroundings. If it ain’t 140 characters or less, baby, it ain’t gonna happen. Unless of course you go ahead and post that idea and then all of your followers have to click on a link that takes them to a special page where they can view the entirety of your message, increasing the chance of picking up spam by, oh let’s say, 36%. I mean let’s face it. Who clicks on those links anyway? If it ain’t under 140, skippy, I ain’t gonna read it.
And now they are storing every tweet. Yep. Big brother. Eagle eye. Conspiracy central. Logging. Every. Tweet. Imagine what that will look like. I wonder who’s job it is to have to read and file Paris Hilton’s drunken tweets, Miley Cyrus’ gleeful thank yous for another sold out show, words of unspoken love that make one want to puke (hey I’m guilty of this one), President Obama’s calls for changes, or your pastor’s encouraging words? Could it be possible that the whole world that Jesus talked about in Matthew 28 may be able to be squeezed under the microscope of social media and be seen as 140 characters? And last time I checked it was in our job descriptions to reach this whole world. Could it be done in 140 characters? The chances are looking very good my friend.
I was reminded of the power these 140 characters have several months ago after the passing of Steve Jobs. Inspiration hit. I was ready. I was determined. I whipped out my iPhone (thank you Mr. Jobs) and pecked away. So I tweeted:
“The creator of the iPad, iPhone, iTouch, and iMac now faces the iAm. Life is short folks. “
And that was that.
And then I got retweeted. And retweeted. And retweeted. People I didn’t even know retweeted me. People who are so far out of my league in ministry. Yet they liked something I said good enough to retweet it to hundreds of other people. Would it have been effective if it had been more than 140 characters? Absolutely not.
I believe a true Christian will behave in a 140 character fashion. Concise, readable, inspiring, captivating, retweetable. Not having to look to other people to get their “rest of the story” but rather they write their own story. And the words of their story cannot be found on the pages of black and white, phones, or computer screens. No. Their story is written in Red, dipped in the ink of the Blood of the Lamb, forever changed. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound. To the reader of this post, you just may be 140 characters from changing the world. Use them wisely.