"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Tired Temptations

Tired. This is what is written for my journal entry. Simple and yet, so telling. I am just tired.

I have made it a personal goal to "show up" for daily journaling. This means as little as a date and at most... well, pages and pages of thoughts and prayers. Some days I have just written the date. Some days I write much more. Yesterday I wrote "tired". I have found that this "showing up" leaves me the room to balance discipline and the realities of life. And, it is a good way to track and map out my spiritual journey. God seems to be showing me, as I journal and blog, the themes He is attempting to whisper into my soul.

Tired. I am just tired. My body, my mind, my heart and my soul are exhausted. There is not one thing to blame for this state--- it is multi-faceted, to be sure. There is much to learn in it and through it.

Tempted. This isn't written in my journal... but I write it here today. I am realizing that in tiredness I am finding a temptation toward sin that is more significant than in times of rest. Or in exhaustion, I am finding a temptation more intense than the average day. This may sound pretty simple and obvious. But, for me it is a good "awe-hah!" moment for my soul. If I know that tiredness is a significant place where temptation is more intense, then I can be more intentional in those times! I may be able to walk "aware" and with wisdom through tired moments. I can guard my heart and my mind. I can purposefully place aides to resist the temptation that is likely to come. This kind of intentionality has been so very helpful in my spiritual growth.

It seems that those places of escape are most tempting. I find almost an indistinguishable "jump" (almost entirely without conscious thought) from a place of tiredness to an escape pattern I have learned or employed for years. My "escape" places aren't all sin in and of themselves... most aren't, actually. But, I believe, the escape that happens in my heart can be likened to idol worship when I am not escaping to Jesus first. Thus the sin. Thus the temptation.

It is as if my body, my mind and my heart have been trained toward a certain response to tiredness. I do this... I think this... when I am tired. I am convinced that I need a re-training. I need to train my internal and natural "jump" to be toward Him first. Instead of the thoughtless jump to my escape routes... I need to re-train my mind and my heart to run to Him, His word and His fullness.

I am so grateful that God knows this about me and He isn't shocked or surprised! I am glad He loves to feed me and let me rest when I am in this place. He offers me sleep, food that will last, fullness of joy and deep, lasting rest in Him alone. I can run to Him in this place and run to Him with my temptations. He, too, was tempted. He knows.

Lord, continue to teach me to run to you first when I am tired. For You, my Lord give strength to Your people; the you, my Lord, bless Your people with peace! (Ps. 29)

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Is.40)
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