Tuesday, May 4, 2010

When it's no longer effortless...

Do you ever have those times when it’s just extremely difficult to focus on time with God?

I sit there, ready. Waiting. I try to silence my mind, my own thoughts, to allow God’s voice to enter in. I open the Word, I read, I attempt to pray. My mind wanders. I long for the periods of effortless devotion, immediate connection, and spiritual “awakeness.” Instead, today—yesterday—this past week—I come into this time and feel... lost. Like I don’t know where to start. Like I forgot everything. Like my mind wants to focus on everything else. Like I’ve forgotten how to pray—how to approach the throne.

What do you do in moments like these? I want desperately to commune with the Father, and yet I feel disconnected and scattered. How do I genuinely find the Lord—how do I get to know him more fully—when my insides feel restless and squirmy?


  1. Absolutely, hermosa. *sigh*

    I want to encourage you in perseverance of that time with Dad. Keep it up, keep trainin', just like you did for the run!

    One bit on prayer I read recently encouraged not to fight against the rabbit trails. A lot of times, we can feel like there are things that are on-topic with God and things that are inappropriate or counterproductive. We try to shoo certain things away.

    I need to forgo the questionable rules I put onto my conversations with God and pretend that I am talking with a friend--like talking to you, for instance! Most likely, if we were having a conversation together, and a particular strand of distraction kept running through my brain...I'd probably say, "Rachel, I gotta tell you..." and share it with you.

    I need to lean into my distraction in conversation with God, not set up walls against it.

    Often our distractions can be meaning-full, and become their own source of discussion.

    Talking about the distractions can still be valuable even when they're more minor, like..."oh man, this apartment is a disaster. hmm, i can clean the living room up at this time, the bedroom up at this time, etc."

    It's worth officially discussing with God. "Dad, I'm so distracted and cluttered up inside simply by looking around here. It seems perpetually a mess, and I never want to clean up. But I also suffer in the chaos. Can you take the perceived immensity of the task away? Can you help me simply do the next thing? In the mean-time, can you help me to find peace in the midst of all this? 'Cause I can't concentrate. Can you help me cultivate gratitude and see beauty in this mess?"

    Or some such thing.

    ...You may very well do this already! :) I wouldn't doubt it.

    Keep talking to God about the distractions. Keep referring back to the analogous topic of what you'd do in a conversation with Elliott, Papa Stephan, or a beloved friend. (Though I fully acknowledge that not being able to see or audibly hear your conversation partner puts a unique twist on things!)

    I hope verbiage doesn't hinder clarity, here.

  2. In times like that. . I often just enjoy the silence and sit to listen because I find otherwise I would gab on and on to Jesus.

  3. In times like that. . I often just enjoy the silence and sit to listen because I find otherwise I would gab on and on to Jesus.


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