Saturday, October 29, 2011

what keeps me away

An unfamiliar silent stillness fills the room.  At first, my brain tries to fight through it -- restless habits breaking through an enveloping rest -- but eventually, I stop the fight.  I succumb to it.

Somehow, this place seems sacred.  There is nothing to distract me.  A baby sleeps peacefully in a folded-out co-sleeper next to me.  There is no internet.  There are no chores to be done.  My cell phone has died because it spent so much battery looking for non-existant service.  The lack of distractions is new -- refreshing -- and it draws me into His presence.  Yes, this is a sacred spot.

I practice a listening prayer.  I do not speak.  I do not ask.  I do not let myself fall away into a slumber.  I find myself in silent reverie until I am driven into the Word.  There, I seek to understand.  I ask questions.  I search for connections.  I search for God.

Coming home from our trip, I am reluctant to return to the white glow of a familiar distraction.  I fear turning on the power button, because I don't want to be fully consumed by an online world.  I want to remain distant -- to be far from the tempting easiness of reading a blog post instead of a parable.

And it's an awakening moment, really -- to realize that part of what keeps me away is the computer I keep just inches from my Bible.  I've come face-to-face with the startling reality that even though writing brings me closer to my Father, the means by which I write can also keep me away from Him.  I need to learn to temper my usage -- to put the computer away to chase after stillness -- to designate different spaces for different things.

What keeps you away from being with the Lord each day, and how have you been able to battle it?

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