Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:8
7:00 a.m. – The alarm goes off.
7:30 a.m. – I finally get out of bed after hitting the snooze button three times. I really need to quit staying up as late as I do, I think. I had developed a very bad habit of using late-night hours to try to catch up on what was left unfinished during the day.
7:45 a.m. – I’ve taken the dog out to do his business and fed him. Cup of coffee in hand, I sit down for my personal quiet time: praying, reading the Bible, meditating on the Truth. On the way to open my “One Year Bible” app, I notice several Facebook notifications. I’ll check those out real quick, I tell myself. They’ll distract me if I don’t get them off my mind.
8:30 a.m. – After checking out the latest cute-kiddo photos, political diatribes, and my favorite shopping site’s posts — and disgusted with myself for lingering too long in the social media world — I exit, determined to get back to my original quiet time plan, noticing along the way that there’s a text I haven’t read. After reading the message, I realize I didn’t reply to a couple of texts sent the night before, so I take a few minutes to respond.
9:00 a.m. – Finally, I’m back to my quiet time plan. The dog needs to go outdoors again.
9:10 a.m. – Once again, finally back to my quiet time.
9:15 a.m. – The phone rings. “Pam, we need you ASAP down at the courthouse to cover a last-minute call-in. I drop everything and make a mad dash to throw on clothes, get my equipment together, and head downtown.
Tuesday … Wednesday … Thursday … repeat, repeat, repeat.
And so it goes, some days accomplishing what I set out to do, other days failing miserably. I again ask God at the end of the day to forgive me for not planning ahead and being more diligent about spending time with Him.
When I ventured into the recent “21 Days of Prayer,” I seriously doubted I would be able to stick with it, much less even get to the church by 6:00 a.m. I tried convincing myself I didn’t have the time to do it, but when a friend asked me to join her in attending, I decided to give it a try. Nothing like accountability to motivate me.
Admittedly, the first day was difficult, but God wanted to teach me something.
The second day was easier. I learned I needed to go to bed earlier, something I had been telling myself to do for some time but had been unsuccessful in accomplishing. The third day was easier yet, and the fourth a breeze.
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Mark 1:35
The unexpected happened. The anticipation grew in my heart for the next day and the next and the next and the next. I couldn’t wait to get to bed early so I would be up, sitting at the feet of Jesus early in the morning, talking to Him about what was on my heart, bringing the needs of others before Him, and waiting to hear Him speak to me. With Day 21 fast approaching, I found myself feeling anxious because it was coming to an end. God had developed in me a discipline in my approach to prayer and rewarded me with a continued hunger to draw closer to Him.
I learned that once I allow the little “g” gods — texts, social media, household “needs” — to plague my early morning, they swarm like locusts, devouring my time and robbing me of the opportunity to experience the “sweet spot” of my day, communion with the real Lover of my soul. Now I was disciplined to be intentional about spending time in prayer, going to a solitary place with no distractions.
I discovered something else along this journey. God is honored by my Mary attitude as I live in a Martha world. Each day is a new gift He has presented me with. There will be many issues clamoring for my attention, so it honors Him when I tithe the “firstfruit” moments of the day.
As I left the sanctuary each morning following prayer, my spirit had been bathed in God’s presence. He was honored; I was refreshed and ready for the day. All was well with my soul.
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Pam Weyant traded the harsh Midwestern winters for the sunny South. When she is not spending her time as a freelance court reporter, you will find her loving up her adorable cocker spaniel, hiking, traveling, writing creative nonfiction, or working out. Her passion is sharing her story so others can join her in celebrating the freedom found in a redemptive Savior.