I’ll admit that I like a certain amount of routine in my life. I like my life to hang off a number of fixed points, providing me with a framework that I can slot the rest of my commitments around.
One of the things since last September that has become quite important to me, is the first hour of my day. I usually get up around 5.30am and have been disappearing off to have a cup of tea and read my Bible. Recently, owing to the desire to write pappy fan fiction being greater than the desire to read the latter end of the Old Testament; I have been eschewing this daily discipline. As a result, within a short space of time, I’m all over the place; not just spiritually but in my everyday life too.
Starting the day with quiet contemplation and a cup of tea, meant that when it came to facing the rest of the world, I had already spent time building myself up and focussing on the day ahead. Having temporarily dropped this discipline and replaced it with bashing out a thousand words before breakfast; I’ve found that I’m distracted, disorganised and rushing to catch up with myself. I’m constantly on the back foot, things are getting forgotten and I have the patience levels of an angry grizzly bear. I’m not saying that morning Bible reading is a magic cure-all; but for me, it’s important. I have to get my day in the right order to get the best out of myself.
I am very much a morning person. Where some people take time to come round and work up to their creative greatness, I am out of the blocks and raring to go in seconds. This is why I’ve allowed myself to get distracted by my writing; because, for want of a better phrase, the ‘muse has me’ at the moment. What also has me is a bunch of people anxious for the next chapters. While I am being all deeply creative, it’s coming at the expense of the rest of my life. I’ve allowed myself to be compromised by not giving myself that time to be nourished by the word of God. It’s not going to happen at any other time of day, the house is too noisy and my schedule too crowded to slot it in anywhere else. It either happens in the first hour or it doesn’t happen at all.
I’ve had a meeting with my prayer triplet today and just in the space of two weeks I was finding prayer awkward and stilted, instead of it flowing as it would do usually. Not that I’m a Grade A pray-er, I’m not, but my prayer muscles have lain dormant for the past few weeks and exercising them today showed just how much they’d seized up. Like Dorothy squirting the Tin Man with a bit of oil to allow him to speak, by the time we’d finished, the Holy Spirit had squirted me with a bit of spiritual WD-40 and things were flowing more easily again; but it didn’t stop me metaphorically kicking myself for allowing myself to get out of condition in the first place.
Getting back into the routine of daily prayer and Bible reading is going to take time to establish again; but for me, it’s the only way I can properly function for the rest of the day. Without it I’m not at my best and how can I possibly know what God wants of me if I’m not turning up to the morning briefing meeting?
I’m at my best in the morning, but I appreciate that other people are not. Not everyone finds it easy to be up early, but I believe giving God time in your day when you are at your prime is a good way of signalling that you are giving your best to God, not just palming Him off with any old thing.
So, first thing tomorrow it will be back to the Bible reading and the writing will happen at another point in the day. It’s about getting my priorities right, it’s about getting my ducks in a row and it’s about keeping my eyes on Jesus and not getting distracted by the sideshow along the way.