"Incline my heart to Your testimonies,
And not to covetousness.
Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things,
And revive me in Your way." Psalm 119:36-37
I have really big ideas. I get a plan or a project in my head and it consumes most my thoughts until it's either completed or replaced by a new grand idea. Sometimes it can be really hard to focus on following the Father's leading---going where He says, saying what He prompts, waiting when He's clear I should wait---especially when I'm distracted by less important things.
But most times, I find it hard to focus on anything BUT the things of the Father. I'm consumed by His wonders and warnings, tracking His prophetic timeline, pulling new things out of Scripture every time I sit down to read. I could spend hours of my day reading and writing about His word, the world going on around me while I wile away in my study. I often think I'm better suited to a dark robe and a measly diet, sequestered away somewhere in a remote monastery, with no one but my pen for company.
Which brings up the obvious---why has the Father given someone like me an outgoing husband, nine children, a new grandson, real friendships, and an increasingly public ministry? These things do tend to get in the way of the life of a devoted monk.
I believe He's calling me to balance. Left to my own devices, I really would hole up in remote hibernation, avoiding everything that irritates me---and thereby avoiding everything He's called me to. Because everything irritates me.
In the Psalm above, the word "covetousness" can also be translated as profit and the word "testimonies" means God's law. Thus, the basic gist of the passage speaks to the desire to focus on God's ways and not be distracted by what lesser gains can be made. While I don't covet actual things, I definitely covet times of quiet solitude.
And that's just what He wants them to be for me---times. Not days or months, but moments, even a few hours on the occasional day I can have my husband or adult child fill in for me. Coveting is essentially wanting what we do not have and it can be applied even to the things of God. While it's a noble idea to close myself up in a turret with just a candle and a scroll, would I really want to be cloistered away from all the life, laughter, and loud of the people around me who bring me such joy? Well, maybe the loud…
I think the Father intentionally puts us in situations that we wouldn't naturally choose for ourselves for our growth. The closer I get to Him, the more I want to excavate His word and see what treasures I can pull up. It's becoming my natural inclination and if I really want to do this, I will find the time---regardless of what else is going on around me. In His great mercy and grace, He's surrounded me with so much life so I don't become that hermitting monk; but instead, that I would grab hold of just enough life around me to balance me out.
After all, what is the point of knowledge, wisdom, understanding if there's no one around to share it with?