Thursday, May 26, 2011

Distracted Devotion

I was challenged recently as a read an excerpt from Radical by David Platt. He commented that discipleship included a daily walk with new believers, including teaching him/her by sharing your quiet time with the new believer. Lead through co-experience. At first as I contemplated how neat that would be with a sister-in-Christ, I was all eager-beaver to find one of my "disciples" and start meeting the next morning! Then, I started thinking about reality. Share my time alone with God with another person, maybe one I don't even know that well?! That is MY time, my sacred time of quiet, coffee, God's Word, and my journal of how God and I talk each day.

My devotion time, as I call it, is early in the morning, before any one else is up . . . or that's the goal anyways! Sometimes I hear the patter of very early risers coming down the hall before I've really gotten into it. In these cases, I try to fix a quick breakfast, send him or her, or both, into another room to watch a movie, or for my 4 yr. old, set out a couple of books for her to read at the table. I make a pot of coffee, collect my Bible, journal, and favorite pen, and I sit at the head of the kitchen table - a place normally reserved for my husband at meal times - for easy access to the coffee pot. Although I would love a space all my own, the table serves the purpose with a nice wide surface to spread all my things out on and a hard surface to write my prayers, God's leadings, and my inmost desires.

I generally like routines, so I'll pray, read . . . journal as the Spirit leads . . . read again . . . pray for others and special requests on my heart. I LOVE journaling. I seem to take more in when I've written it down. Sometimes, however, I start feeling like the habit is becoming more of the focus than the conversation, so I sit in my husband's recliner or on the couch and just take my Bible into our conversation. It is in these times, that I focus more on listening to what He's saying than on my ability to take what He's revealed and write it.

I desire my devotion time each morning! Yet, I titled this post, "Distracted Devotion" because no matter what my intentions, there are always other things trying to interrupt my special time with the Lord. My children's needs, housework that got put off for another day, the computer, last minute homeschooling prep, fatigue, even my coveted morning phone call from my parents who live far from me. But sometimes the distraction isn't physical, but spiritual. Pure rebellion, pride I can do it for a day without a special word from my Lord, worry and doubt, discontentment.

But what I have learned over my years of developing a daily quiet time is that it is only by practicing a devotion time that those distractions do not make or break my day. My devotion time helps bring me back to the place where I focus more on what brings God glory for that day than the current pressing need. It gives me perspective. It allows me to exhibit more hope, patience, peace, joy, love, kindness, gentleness, and self-control with my husband, my children, my friends, the lady waiting on me at the grocery store, and the random people God brings into my path.

Distracted devotion becomes focused purpose for the day. And that is something God can use.

And it is something I can and am willing to share with others. So who wants to study tomorrow morning with me?