Hunkering over my desk in flannels, tea steeping in cupped hands on my lap, I read scripture scrolling on the screen of my laptop, before the crescendo of stirring ensues from each bedroom. When my mind becomes like a garden hose stuck on the corner of brick with words He is highlighting, I share those verses with my friends on Facebook.
Opening that social networking page is like entering a bustling party and then trying to remove myself from one hundred interesting conversations.
Suddenly, I am snagged on an exchange between a friend and a stranger on my sidebar that pique’s my interest. I’m Googling words like fundamentalism, evangelical and Oral Roberts, and then winding my way down a curious hall reading memoir.
What am I doing, I think, suddenly startled by a rock of information blocking the sieve through which I’m collecting words and phrases stimulating thoughts. Oh yes, I was reading scripture.
And this is the way of distraction. It finds me often.
On my small blue desk, I have a Bible, two journals holding notes for writing and speaking engagements; a spiral with notable fragments of conversations and appointment reminders. Next to a stack of books inspiring my thinking is a daily devotional, a Kindle with fingers curling toward each title every time I open it. Did I mention I have the steady flow from the spout of the internet with the broken handle that is difficult to turn off?
He is jealous for your muses. It’s a phrase spoken over me in a holy moment, now frozen in my memory bank.
He is jealous for what fuels your thinking. Are you enraptured with the lofty words of others more than the sound of His voice?
Jesus wants his Words speaking into your circumstance as the ones you are hearing the loudest. He longs to inform your thoughts and decisions, not because he is a manipulative bully, but because he is captivated by every moment of your union. Do His words make your heart swoon like the eloquence of others or is love unrequited?
If I’m honest, my prayers and conversations are more about asking for favors than about longing for His nearness because I love Him. It is a discipline I’m practicing — turning off my need for outcomes, for answers to spiraling questions and just rest in the assurance of Peace.
This year, I’m looking toward Lent with expectancy as I surrender my muses.
I’m joining my friend Margaret Feinberg for the 40 Day Bible Reading Challenge, reading the New Testament through the seven weeks of Lent. And we’re asking you to join us.
I know, it sounds daunting doesn’t it? But I’m trusting that He will speak to each one of us with clarity and fresh perspective in the discipline of making his words the priority.
We’ll follow this daily reading plan and I’ll share a blog post once a week about what grabs my attention, an extended version of what I do on Facebook with scripture.
And we’ll talk about what we are learning together every Wednesday in Redemptions Beauty Book Club because we need your voice to glean the truth from the muck. For those who are bloggers, beginning Wednesday, March 5, I invite you to share what you write from the inspiration of scripture on our page once a week.
We’ll read the most popular book in history together from the author of transcendent beauty in poetry, metaphor, and simile. A writer’s handbook of meaning and purpose dedicated to you, His Beloved.
Are you with me? Let’s do this #LentChallege. I need you to help me focus.