Saturday, January 28, 2017
Being Awake....By Emma Zwemke
Sometimes your children grow up. And sometimes they have thoughts that challenge you at the core.
Sometimes they write responses to their scholarship applications and you have to share them.
Entertainment is dangerous.
Not that it is evil. I do not mean that at all. I could almost wish it were evil, it would be so much easier to deal with.
It goes like this. You are working hard, trying to please God in your thoughts and actions. And one night you are tired, so you watch a movie with your family. And there is nothing wrong with that! So you do it again the next night. The night after, you start a tv show on Netflix, and you get hooked, so you stay up late to watch the next episode. There is nothing wrong with that either. And for the next month, that is what you do every night. And it is not really wrong. Only, you stop thinking. I mean, you think, but they are only superficial thoughts, thoughts lulled to sleep by the constant stream of information you have been pouring into your mind. Because you go to school all day, and you do homework in the afternoon, so night is the only time you would have time to think deep, slow things, but you have spent all night putting shallow things into your brain. You are not awake in your spirit. You do not find any opportunities to minister because your mind was too sleepy to remember to pray for them. You do not get anything out of the Bible because you are so muddled inside it only takes five minutes to forget everything you read. You are cranky and anxious because you have forgotten to pray for joy and peace. And none of your friends are there to slap you awake; they are all sleeping too.
It happens so often. It can be caused by anything I enjoy doing which does not require me to be still and muse. I try to avoid it, but I cannot see clearly what is happening until I am awakened. Usually it is a book that gets me out of it. The other day it was a biography of Amy Carmichael. Once it was The Lost Princess, by George McDonald. Sometimes it’s the Bible, but I have become so used to the rhythm of its words that I usually cannot catch its meaning when my mind is drowsy. But when other good books talk about the doctrines espoused in the bible, the exposition is different, and the things I had forgotten come back to me all at once like a bucket of cold water in the face. Then I wake, remembering that I am supposed to watch and pray, supposed to give all my time to God, not my own pleasures. I am always so frustrated, because I knew all of it before, but I had let the thought slip from my focus.
I do not know how to fix it, how to keep my mind perfectly fixed on God. But I know now how easy it is for my mind to wander, and that is half the battle.