Every time this happens, another thought comes to mind. When I am walking in the light, along side Jesus, I am aware of the things I need to work on, change and I grow. Reading my Bible, spending time with other believers, praying, serving, all of these things help keep me close to God and hold me accountable to who I want to be in life. They help be more like Jesus, although I always fall short. They help me to see the sin in my life long before I would if I were doing it all on my own without these things to guide me, remind me and encourage me.
But the darkness. I can get caught in that too. Time will go by. It is always amazing to me how quickly I become distracted by the things of this world. A good friend of mine talks about her ADD and the fact that she always gets distracted by "shiny objects". I have a lot of shiny objects in my life. These things are not bad in and of themselves. But boy do they take a hold of my mind and time and before you know it, I am living in the "darkness", away from God, and I don't even realize it for some time. They can be a variety of things....a new Netflix series that I binge watch because I lack self control (The Crown was my latest indulgent), a good book that I just can't put down, a house that needs cleaned, a ton of social events that leave me busier and busier, working out, etc, etc, etc. The shiny things keep coming and my head keeps turning. I drift away from God and just do life. Until I can't. Something happens to awaken me and I realize I have walked the journey alone, abandoning the greatest joy in my life and the one thing that gets me through each day. I have traded in treasure for bread crumbs. And I don't even realize it. It's as if the darkness creeps in and I settle right in with it.
I keep asking myself, why? Why do I get so distracted by shiny things? Why do I settle for bread crumbs when a treasure awaits me? And all I can come up with is that I am a sinful woman that falls into old habits when my eyes are not on Jesus. The darkness creeps in and I am not even aware of the clean up I need to do in my life. So what am I do do? Am I without hope? Of course not. But it's a constant redirection. Here are some practical things that have helped me:
- Finding a daily Bible/devotional reading time and building it into my calendar. You may have no issue with this. But I tend to get distracted easily and need something to hold me accountable. I have even set an alarm on my phone.
- Nurturing friendships that will encourage me in thees areas. The friends ask the tough questions. They love me, they encourage me, but they also point out when I am not walking in the light. They are flashlights in the dark that shine
- Spending carved out time with God, regularly. Nothing, and I mean nothing, draws me closer to God and keeps me in the light than spending time in prayer. I am ADD, truly. So it is helpful for me to use a prayer tool. I love a praying scripture book that I have used for years (Praying Scripture Back to God by Kenneth Boa). It's not the only way, but it works for me.
- Writing. I enjoy sharing my thoughts through the written word. Sometimes I journal. Sometimes I blog. Sometimes I write out my prayers. All help me to express my heart and what God is doing, things I need to change.