The other night I was yet again awakened by one of my children. At this point in the night I had had about 3-4 hours of sleep so my mind is ready to go while body says no way. You know the feeling. So here it is 2am and now I’m laying in bed wide awake as my mind plays ping pong with many thoughts.
After not being able to shut it off, I sensed the Lord inviting me to get some time with Him. So I got out of bed, grabbed my phone and went down stairs. Sometimes I actually love being up in the middle of the night. Everything is quiet (no that my little boy is back asleep). The world seems a bit still. And then I checked my phone…and before I knew it 2.5 hours had passed.
Allow me to be a bit vulnerable from my journal:
“I received a loving rebuke today…this morning. I was awake early in the morning and wasted precious and valuable time to be with you, Lord. I was drawn out of bed by You. And then I was drawn away easily by mindless videos. Ones that weren’t sinful per se, but ones that are entertaining and appeal to ease and allow laziness to rule. Lord, I’m sorry I chose poorly. I chose ease again over true life. You are my life, my love, my strength, my vision, my breakthrough, my victory. You are where I find adventure, wonder, and beauty. And I feel my sadness over this, and your saddness (by the Spirit I believe). And now in my brief and hurried time with You as the chaos of the day began to unfold I am shocked at what I just read:
“We were created with eyes to face the direction in which we walk. So we walk in the direction in which we look. And where we look, we walk… Where you look is where you go. Go against that principle and it will never end up well. Apply the principle on the scale of life and it can change your life. Your life is a journey. Throughout that journey it’s critical that you look in the direction that you’re going, and that you don’t look in the direction that you’re not going. If you focus on that which is ungodly, impure, negative, evil, and dark, you’ll end up there…in a dark place (and away from God). In the end, we go where we look. And that which you dwell on will be that which you dwell in.”The Book of Mysteries—Day 97
You see, there is gentle yet significant truth in this for me because wasting precious time to connect with God has been way too common. With the chaos of life, work and raising several children who WON’T SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT, sometimes I’m just overwhelmed and frankly, tired. So watching mind numbing videos in the night was mind diverting, entertaining and seemingly benign. This practice wasn’t a one time thing. And I can tell you with certainty that I don’t feel more rested or fulfilled indulging there. Rather I feel just as sluggish and…tired.
And I then I remember the verse that says “do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your feet away from evil.” Not that watching videos is evil, but I was swerving! Make no mistake. I was swerving away from the path of restoration (which is what genuine time with God gives us) and swerving toward the path of relaxation (which is often a veiled form of self focused indulgence).
Where was I going? In God’s goodness and kindness, he basically asked me that question. Kind of like how a father would turn and ask his son where was going if he wandered a bit down the wrong path. “Jon, where are you going?” The question wasn’t harsh or accusatory. Rather it was all in love.
Is the path of comfort and ease really what we want? Is it what we need?
Make no mistake, the path that we need…the path of God is harder and it will be opposed because it’s true and it leads to freedom, restoration and life. And now… now I’m glad that I’m going where I’m again looking.