Habitual Integrity

September 20, 2017

I set my alarm 10 minutes back and found that the snooze button was ready for me. Setting my alarm 30 minutes back provided my sleepy brain with time to process the most recent Facebook posts before starting my day. Frustrated with myself, I talked to the Lord - “I’m a night owl and it’s hard to wake up early. In fact, you created me this way. If you want me to spend time with you first thing in the morning, you’ll have to wake me up.” 


I looked at my calendar before going to bed that night and saw that my first responsibility tomorrow morning would be at 8:30am. Let’s see…30 minutes to drive makes it 8:00am….an hour to get ready makes wake up time at 7:00am. I looked at the clock and it was already midnight. A deep sigh escaped my body. I paused and noticed my notes from Wednesday night laying on the table. I had highlighted several verses which spoke of walking habitually, setting my mind and keeping focused, and of keeping His commandments. My shoulders dropped; I knew what I had to do. 


‘Lord’, I whispered into the empty room, ‘help me to start this path of habitual integrity’. As I brushed my teeth and finished getting ready for bed, I thought about what tomorrow morning would hold. I imagined what time I might set my alarm for and what distractions would keep me away from my devotions. My phone was a big one. Emails, texts, and social media saturate my days. I set my alarm for 5:30am and went to bed. ‘Setting your alarm for 5:30am. Alarm set for 5 hours from now!’ my phone joyfully shouted into the darkness. I lay quietly, squeezing my eyes shut and willing myself to go to sleep. 


At 5:20am the next morning, my eyes shot open. Without moving, I looked around the dark room. I didn’t remember hearing anything; why was I awake so early? I thought about rolling over but I remembered what I had read on my notes the night before – ‘Seek Him and be responsive to His guidance.’ I don’t want to fool you – I didn’t leap out of bed. I glared at the clock and slowly rolled to the side. With great force and holding onto the edge of my nightstand I pulled my sleepy body up out of its resting place. I carefully navigated down the stairs and made myself a cup of coffee…I saw my laptop resting where I had left it the night before. Should I turn on the computer or open my bible? My eyes darted back and forth between my choices as I struggled to make my decision. The quietness of the house echoed my thoughts back to me. I could check my Facebook page and then spend time with the Lord… 


No. I shook my head and cleared my mind. I sat down on the couch and willfully opened my bible. I said to the Lord – ‘Good morning. I believe that every verse in this Bible is here for a purpose. I ask that you honor my time and my sacrifice and that you would allow your Word to speak directly to me. Father God, I love you and I want to walk in the path that you have set up for me today. Provide me with divine appointments and help me recall what I am about to read. Amen’ 


And with that simple gesture, my journey continued.


{Listen to Paula Brown's full teaching here or at www.calvaryhampton.org/listen}



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