In those first precious moments of the day, do you spend them with God or catching up on the news?
Posted in , Jan 16, 2018
The weather warmed up enough the other day so that with extra layers on it was possible to go for a beginning-of-year walk in the park with a friend. She said she had been feeling so anxious it was hard to get work done. Because I have several family members with anxiety disorders, it’s a topic I happen to know a lot about. So as set out, we spoke of different ways to decrease one’s baseline anxiety and of ways to pull it down when it spiked.
Then I asked about her prayer life. “It hasn’t been good,” she admitted, “I’m off my routine lately, and I can’t seem to pop back into it.”
“How much time are you spending on your devices?” I asked, meaning her smart phone and computer.
“Way too much!” she said, ruefully. “I’ve been so wound up about politics that when I wake up the first thing I do is check Twitter.”
“There’s your problem!” I laughed, “If reading the news brings you peace, then you’re on the right track! If it’s making you agitated, leave your phone in another room.”
“But I really want to know what happens!” She replied. I gave her an arched eyebrow in response. A moment later she added, “But you know, I used to get up and use those first precious minutes to connect to God.”
Our feet crunched in the snow, and we looked out over the Hudson River, which was clogged with ice chunks. Walking felt good, though my nose grew red and my fingers tingled with the cold. We circled back through the park and headed up our street, then paused in front of my apartment building. “Thanks,” said my friend, “That was helpful.”
I nodded, and thanked her in return. “That business about putting God first does make a difference,” I reminded her, with a smile, “And you can remind me of the same thing when life gets bumpy for me!”