Matthew 6:25 (New International Version)
25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear...or, about what you will write!
It is so easy in my relationship with God for a shift to happen so that instead of what comes out of me here being the fruit of my time with him, my time with him can very easily become a means to the end of having something to write.
I have practiced The Sacred Hour this week. The first time, I found that as I quietened my soul before God, my thoughts began popping and I instinctively and automatically reached for pen and journal to capture them. There is nothing wrong with journalling, but suddenly I was writing, not listening for his whisper.
Matthew Kelly in his book, The Rhythm of Life , warns about this. He says that as soon as you begin to pray you will feel an itch, or remember a load of laundry that needs to be put in the dryer, or you will be uncomfortable in the position you are sitting in. It is incredibly hard to simply be still, to read and pray only as a means of communion with God.
I want to trust God with my writing; to lay down my impulse to record the thoughts he gives me immediately, and to relax in him. It is easy for writing to become an idol and it is sometimes so subtle. This morning I had a digital voice recorder close at hand so that any thoughts could be recorded quickly and I could refocus on God.
My commitment to the readers of Whatever He Says, is that I will write what he gives. That may be a funny story, it may be an insight, and there may be days when there is absolutely nothing I have. That would just about kill me, but I will remain true to my relationship with him being first and foremost for its own sake.
I've written about two of the three rules that Matthew Kelly follows. The third surprised me and I haven't mentioned it until now, because it will be a hard one for me. Matthew is convinced of the importance of going to bed at approximately the same time every night and getting the amount of sleep his body needs.
My sleeping habits are atrocious. I function wonderfully when I get 7 glorious hours of sleep, but I often get by on much, much less, and I tend to lose track of time late at night when I am often writing, or checking email one last time.
So, as I go into a brand new year, I seek to add these rhythms:
1. Receiving the gift of true Sabbath; resisting the temptation to work on my To Do list that day.
2. Practicing a daily Sacred Hour for reading and praying and listening to God.
3. Going to bed at the same time each night as a habit, and getting the amount of sleep on which my body functions well, which is 7 hours.
1 Corinthians 2:9-10 (New International Version)
9However, as it is written:
"No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him"
— 10but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.