Have you ever noticed how words of wisdom seep through in the first few minutes after you awaken in the morning? Or have you ever awoken from a strange dream, look at the clock and notice the time is around 3 a.m.? Grab a pen and write it down, because dreams and those words you receive upon waking are elusive. Only last week I awoke with these words circulating in my head. "Without The Author, The Quill Runs Dry." Was God trying to tell me something?
I had never given thought to those early minutes in the day until I heard a certain well-known preacher relate his personal story on television. When he visited Jerusalem several years ago, he noted that many Jewish priests and rabbis would gather at the wall very early each morning to pray in their tongue. When he asked a local rabbi about this, the man replied something like this. "It is a Jewish custom. We believe that God speaks to His people during the 4th watch. In the hours between 3 a.m. and 6.am. the heavens open up and God is more accessible. The prayers reach His throne and He pours out His Spirit upon His people."
The preacher went on to say that he had gone through the Bible and found that Jesus was often up during the 4th watch. Examples are the time the disciples spied Him walking on the water and thought He was a ghost. And the night before His arrest, He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane in the wee hours when the soldiers came for him.
If this is true, then the first part of our day is the most important. So why do we allow distractions to draw us away from our quiet time with God? If we quieten our minds, write down our thoughts upon rising, we will find a sense of peace and a well of ideas for our writing. So...is something fighting against up to prevent that?
Here is a typical morning at my house. My husband is an early riser. He hops out of bed, jumps in the truck and heads to the local coffee clatch. I sleep a little longer. Then I drag myself out of bed, stumble into the kitchen and peek out the window to see if my dogs are okay. Sometimes I walk out on the porch and hug them. I go back inside, pick up my Bible and a couple devotional books, and sit down on the floor. I open to the Psalms to find one about praise and worship. This leads me into prayer. But wait! I forgot to take that supplement that has to be taken 30 minutes before a meal. I get up and swallow it, then notice a spot on the counter and one on the kitchen floor where my hubby's splattered coffee. Why can't he wipe it up? I know he saw it! Who does he think I am...his maid? Oops! My peace of mind has already been stolen.
The dogs bark. I hear motors humming. The sound grows louder as wander to the window to investigate. Tractors with disks attached, are pulling into the surrounding field, stirring up dust. Oh well, I will try this again. I sit down on the floor, pull a devotional book into my lap and read a few lines. The back door flies open. It's hubby. He's fully caffeinated and ready to aggravate. I look up and greet him with "Hi, how are you?" He's in a teasing mood and I'm still groggy. This usually ends with me speaking sharply, and him fleeing to the garage to work on one of his flea market finds.
I close my Bible and devotional. Now I'm remorseful. If I don't clear this up now, the guilt will eat at me and give me writer's block. Or my writing will fall flat. I find him and apologize for my sassy remark, then re-enter the house to get online and clear out a jillion emails.
The back door slams and hubby dashes to his office. "Have you seen my checkbook?"
We spend the next 15 minutes searching for that, only to find he's left it in the truck.
Have you figured out that the "Big D" is DISTRACTION? So how do we overcome it so we can write? Get up earlier? But what if you've burned the midnight oil the previous night...just to make a small dent in that deadline.
I've decided as recent as this Monday, that I will NOT check author loops or emails UNTIL I have spent at least an hour writing or revising my manuscript. So far, so good.
Distraction is a thief. Some of it is controllable. Some is not. Life is full of surprises. But, if we take charge of the things that we can control...set schedules, timelines, that will free us up to enjoy the people and things that should take priority in our lives.
Does this make any sense? Or is it just another one of MY distractions?