December 30, 2014
Wind gusts stung my cheeks. Two degrees below zero, but the temperature didn’t stop me from taking my daily walk with the dogs. I squinted as I admired the ever-enchanting, Umbrian landscape from the top of a hill. Sunrays warmed my face, and I relaxed.
These last weeks of the year, I felt tense. Of course the frenzy of the period leading up to Christmas contributed (including a rare cleaning rage), as did having guests, breaking the daily routines due to school holidays, watching the new Hobbit movie, shopping, cooking, visiting friends, and worrying how to get our daughter to the long abided Christian winter camp in a snowy Abruzzo.
As much as I loved to write, I simply didn’t get to it. At times, my mind was skimming the surface of potential subjects, but whirlwinds of irrelevant thoughts blew them out of reach. The continuous distraction irritated me.
“God, please give me focus so that I can write again.”
Focus on Me, and you’ll have the right focus in anything you’ll do.
Bible verses popped up. Hebrews 12:2, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. Isaiah 26:3, You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
I realized that I had spent little time with Jesus, because my days were filled with other activities—activities I didn’t even fully enjoy, because I constantly felt “thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread”—yes, just like Bilbo Baggins after years of owning the master ring of evil.
Allowing my own program to drag me away from the source of light, I gave darkness the opportunity to further distract me, steal my joy, and become superficial and ineffective.
“Forgive me, Lord—again.”
It wasn’t the first time and it probably won’t be the last time I let circumstances reign my life, but I know that it’s best when He is King.
In the first week of 2015, I dwelled in His presence every day, and enjoyed every single thing I undertook. Including writing this post.
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus (Colossians 3:17).