In my journaling the other day, I wrote, “… a very persistent Wormwood character has done a great job of distracting me from the purposeful prayer I desperately need.” Maybe I dive too deeply into the spiritual warfare Frank Peretti so delicately describes in his novels… but I have definitely been feeling the familiar distractions that tear me away from what is most important.
I like to be busy… a stream of appointments, sleepovers, and coffee dates where I can listen and advise and laugh and grieve with people I care about. I also like solitude… long, unbroken and unscheduled hours where the only thing able to find me is a good book.
Both these things sound very good. Yet, little weaselly Wormwood gets into even the good things and takes away from the motive and heart behind them. I can shut myself up in my room and read all day, but feel horribly unproductive and selfish at the end. I can also run a mile/minute meeting with students and friends, doing crazy outreach and feel absolutely depleted.
Sometimes I feel stranded out in the middle of no-man’s-land while the ‘real’ saints go off to battle in prayer… those are the people who aren’t distracted by Wormwoods.
Thankfully, C.S. Lewis has been such an encouragement through his little book of letters to his friend Malcolm (which, of course, he never intended to be published. He actually said he would be embarrassed if his reflections on the matter were published!).
I guess I’m just reminded of my human-ness … and I end up in the same place, needing to rely completely and totally on the Lord. I’m trusting His hand will guide, whether I am feeling distant or attacked or close or encouraged.