learning · One Word 2013

even flunkies are loved

Let me just start by saying that I’m a devotional flunkie. Totally and completely.

So when you hear me say “I read the coolest thing in my devotional this morning…” please know that you should in no way picture me up at 4am, sitting quietly in the dining room, hands folded, with my thick bible open alongside a page of notes and my leather-bound, well-worn daily devotional in front of me, from which I’ve faithfully read and studied every day of my life.

Um….Not so much.

The picture probably looks a little more like this: I’m standing in the bathroom brushing my teeth with one hand, at the same time trying to keep my bed-head hair out of the Sonic toothbrush, while scrolling the verse of the day on my phone.

Yeah, I’m pretty lame when it comes to consistently reading from one devotional or reading plan. I have tried it many times in the past. There have been times when I’ve done pretty well. It’s a great thing. But since the fact is that I am almost certainly a person walking around with undiagnosed ADD, it’s really hard to stick with the same thing over and over day in and day out.

Now before you get all crazy on me and write letters to the church saying that the elder’s wife (the mouthy one, no less) just confessed on the Internet that she doesn’t read the bible, just chill for a sec. I didn’t say anything about not reading God’s word. That I can stick with, no problem. It’s always in front of my eyes, it’s just that the format is constantly changing.

No matter how it gets into my eyes, I’d love to say that every single time I read anything from God’s word, it hits me like a rock and transforms something else about me and brings me joy and healing and hope. Many times it does. Yet other times it sits there, hanging on me like a lightweight t-shirt, just waiting to be layered upon to shore up my skin from the cold that I don’t know is yet to come.

Very recently it’s been like that. The words just lightly resting until something more is added to them…something more that makes things click together like puzzle pieces. Lately some of those puzzle pieces have been snapping together left and right, and it’s been so cool.

But I’ve also been fighting this personality of mine. SO hard. Moreso than usual.  My ADD-ish tendency to become distracted by the least little bit of something off to the side has been bothering me, nagging at me to straighten up. I’ve felt worthless because I haven’t been able to do a lot of things well (were we ever even meant to do a lot of things well?) and because I am not sure which thing to give most of my attention to, because they are all, after all, good things. But good can easily become the enemy of the best, so I’ve been struggling for clarity that just didn’t seem to come.

Then today, I read the coolest thing in my devotional. (Insert funky picture of me reading and brushing my teeth at the same time here)

“Keep your focus on me. I have gifted you with amazing freedom, including the ability to choose the focal point of your mind. Only the crown of my creation has such remarkable capability; this is a sign of being made in My image.”

Wow. The amazing freedom of being able to choose my focal point. That’s one version of freedom I had not yet contemplated!

Further on, I read:

“Let the goal of this day be to bring every thought captive to Me. Whenever your mind wanders, lasso those thoughts and bring them into My Presence.. ….Confused ideas are untangled while you rest in the simplicity of My peace. I will guard you and keep you in constant peace when you focus your mind on Me.”

For the millionth time, my Creator spoke right to me with what I need to keep going. I have been asking the right question, what is it I need to focus on?  But I wasn’t looking for the answer that came. I have a list of things that I think are important enough to warrant my time and energy, and I’d been giving God a multiple-choice quiz of sorts, asking Him to fill in the bubble next to the thing I should be most focused on. But God doesn’t fill in our multiple-choice bubbles. He writes His own questions and answers.

So the answer He wrote for me is the answer I suspect I’ll get for most of my questions: Press into Me… Focus on Me. It’s only when you’re focused on Me that I can take care of all the peripherals for you.

I’ve spent more time in prayer over the past few weeks than I have in a while. I’m slowly getting those layers added…those pieces that complete the puzzle. The fears I’ve long held to that kept me from really opening up my hands and saying “just take everything, God” are slowly dissipating. Apparently being a devotional flunkie doesn’t make me a total flunk-out after all. He always finds a way to speak to me. When I focus my mind and thoughts on the One who created me, many of the questions I have get answered in amazing ways. I’ve got butterflies in my stomach just waiting to see what’s coming up next.

“Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.” -Proverbs 4:25

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