It’s hard to stifle: the itch to add another resolution, and another…, to try to dive into twenty lakes at once and swim them all simultaneously.
Not possible, or sane. Nor an act of faith. Faith is based on more than type-A drive, or impetuous whimsy.
My 2012 “heart word,” “closer,” is a response to God’s word. It’s an “active resting” in His promise, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (Jas 4:8).
And the one small step I chose for January habit-building, getting to bed nightly by 10:30, falls under the major goal that year-word expresses, and also springs from scripture.
The words from Psalm 127:2, “The LORD gives His beloved sleep,” have reverberated through my mind for months now, crying out to be received. And I can’t receive this blessing of sleep if I don’t get to bed! 1 Thessalonians 5:7 reminds me that normal sleep time is at night!
I’ve been doing well with this one small step — because that’s all it is, just one, and small.
But because the flesh has “great aspirations,” it’s hard to rest in one small step alone for a whole month.
Besides, finding myself still in nightgown and robe, at 9 AM, or even 10, even after rising at, say, 5, doesn’t feel like progress!
Prayer and writing productivity just get snowballing, and the momentum propels me forward. Though accomplishing much, I look like one who lolls in bed!
… and what if the doorbell rings!
Plus, it feels icky, finding myself still unwashed, the kitchen still disheveled, and me out of sync with a good and long-established habit of getting dressed on rising.
So I nudged in a second small step, my reliable old routine restored, though modified, including a deadline: Be dressed by 7, with a laundry load sloshing by then too, on mornings when laundry needs doing and I’m not going out.
That’s working. Today I’m all showered and dressed and ready by 7:00 to go somewhere in late morning (maybe a first!), and I did spend that time with God. And still hitting bed by 10:30 (well, last night 10:32, so better cinch tighter), and still rising for quiet pre-dawn solitude with God.
But it isn’t quite as sweet, with repeated glancing at my watch, thinking deadline. Today all that adds special pressure because I slept a little later than usual, and have a morning meeting.
A little pressure is good, and I don’t want to start reneging on self-commitments already. So I don’t intend to drop any of this. But no more for January!
Small steps and slow won the race for the turtle, and they can win the race for me, too.