a devotional post from adam.
I am writing from the Hilton Arc de Triomphe in Paris, on day three of my first trip to Roland Garros. It’s midnight here, and after working twelve hours today, I should be exhausted. But, I feel like Bobby when Amy suggests…well, let’s just say I’m not tired.
I am still suffering from the lingering effects of jet lag. I never expected to be so impacted by the time zone change, but it has crawled onto my back and latched on like a Zach hug. I’m tired throughout the day, and long for sleep. Then at night, just at the time I should be preparing for bed, I experience a sudden surge of energy and lose my desire for sleep. This pattern makes me feel like a ghost…after a few days of wandering through my days in a fatigue-riddled faze, I’m starting to feel disengaged from the routine of normal life. I feel numb and detached.
I realized this morning that the pattern of jet lag affects me quite similarly to the struggles of my spiritual life the past few months. The moments I desire God have been late at night when my day is already done. In these late-night moments, I promise God to begin anew in the morning, commited to His priorities. I vow to cut wasted time from my life and chase after God. Then, inevitably, throughout the next day when I have opportunities to obey and to serve God, to live like Jesus, I forget to focus on Him or even overtly choose to disobey. In the end, I feel spiritually distant from life, disconnected, and ashamed.
The only way I see myself shaking free of this jet lag here in Paris is for me to be disciplined about my sleeping routine. I need to lay down and prepare myself for sleep even if I don’t feel tired. In the evening hour, I need to turn off my light and close my eyes. At that moment, I need to expect sleep to come, even if I don’t hardly believe it will arrive.
This morning God was teaching me that the same discipline is needed for spiritual change. I need to “lay down” with Jesus even when I don’t feel a desire to quiet my soul before him. Without this discipline, I simply cannot break the current patterns of my spiritual life. In the morning when my mind starts to apply itself to the purposes of my day, I need to slow myself down and focus on Jesus. Even when I feel utterly distant from spiritual connection to a living God.
Sooner or later, I hope that my desires will grow to match this routine. As I discipline myself to spend time with the Lord, I expect Him to meet me somehow…and my prayer is that this connection will encourage me to draw near again and again until I become more like Him.