So I’ve made it to the end of my second week as part of the 5 o’clock club, there’s our first miracle right there! It’s certainly been a week of ups and downs! First, let me take you back to last Saturday – which sadly is the low point in this post.
As it was my first Saturday on a new quiet time plan, I hadn’t really considered how it would work on my day off when I didn’t have a structure to my morning. I had found that getting up an hour earlier was taking its toll and I was in need of a lie-in by Saturday. So I didn’t set my alarm, and spent a pleasant extra two hours in bed (I didn’t want my duvet to feel neglected did I?). When I got up, I thought I’d try a different routine for my weekend and decided to have a relaxed morning and have my quiet time in the evening.
Any of you who are morning quiet time regulars will be having an experience right about now similar to when you watch a horror film and you find yourself shouting “Don’t go in there!” at the TV. In hindsight, I can now see that this was my first mistake.
That evening, I flopped into bed and was about to snuggle down, when I remembered that I had planned to have my quiet time before going to bed. I thought to myself “I’ve got church tomorrow, I’ll just spend some time praying for the preacher and then I’ll go to sleep”. This was my second mistake. I then swiftly proceeded to my third mistake, which was to stay in my bed under the covers and close my eyes. My prayer went something like this “Dear Lord, I pray…..I pray that…. that you would, erm, ………………zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz”. Oh dear! I woke up after dosing for about 15 minutes, and was sufficiently cross with myself for failing to stay awake for a few minutes to speak to my Father. I clearly wasn’t going to win this battle with tiredness, so I said a hasty prayer of repentance for my foolish decisions, and allowed my heavy eyelids to close.
I’m glad to say that I learnt an important lesson from this episode. The lesson is that I am lazy and am very good at tricking myself into thinking I’m not! I understnad what Jeremiah meant when he wrote “The heart is deceitful above all things”.
With my lesson learned, I entered a new week determined not to make the same mistake again, and knowing that only by God’s grace could I avoid it.
With the LORD’s help I’ve stuck to my normal routine, and managed to get up every day at 6:45am, and have a very beneficial quiet time. Joni Eareckson Tada’s book has been really helpful and I’ve been really encouraged by the posts of the Girl Talk blog. I’m also really thankful for Rhian, my co-worker and co-club member who has text me every morning with encouragements and who I’ve been able to share my experiences with as the week’s gone on.
I must confess that I am struggling a little with tiredness. I’ve not been getting to bed as early as I should this week, and as the week’s gone on I’ve needed more strength from the LORD to get out of bed when the alarm rings. But it’s all part of the adjustment, and my continuing left eyelid twitch serves as a reminder to get myself tucked up at a reasonable hour each night.
One of the great benefit of getting up earlier and having a properly structured quiet time is I am seeing more and more things to thank God for. I’m able to pray consistently for friends and family, and I can enter each day knowing that I’ve sought the LORD’s forgiveness and that I’ve left my burdens at His feet. It is TOTALLY worth the discomfort of a changed routine.
So as we enter week three, and I aim to extend my quiet time to getting up at 6:30am, I’m praying that the LORD will help me to keep savouring our time together like He does.
I’ll end with an exhortation from Rhian: “Praise his wonderful name!”