But now I'm inspired by a post over at Conversion Diary, where Jennifer F. has decided the following:
Every night before I go to bed, I will ask myself three questions about the next day (and give detailed, specific answers):What a good idea. Those are exactly the three things I need to watch myself. But I have the same problem Jennifer has:
- "When will I pray?"
- "What will I eat?"
- "What are the essential things I need to accomplish tomorrow?"
It should only take about 30 seconds...yet I've been trying to do it over the past few days and have found it to be surprisingly hard to force myself to focus long enough to provide thorough answers to each question. Trying to implement this simple resolution makes me realize just how much I have a tendency to drift aimlessly through my days.I hate the aimless drift. My mom, who's sixty-seven and has been retired for some years now, says that every morning when she wakes up, she hears a voice in her head: "Go! Get up! Get moving!" The longer she lives, the greater her urgency not to waste time. "Does thou love life? Then do not squander time, for it is the stuff life is made of." I dozed through much of my twenties but a few years ago I began to hear that voice too. It doesn't matter much to me whether I become a success by the usual standards; indeed I suspect I won't. But it would be a tragedy to fail to do what I was created for, to miss God's intention for me.
Here's something from C.S. Lewis (he's so easy to quote!) Sometimes when I'm being lazy, the memory of this passage disgusts me enough to get me moving again. It's the demon Screwtape writing to a junior tempter on how to handle his "patient"; I emphasized the parts that most get to me:
...You will find that anything or nothing is sufficient to attract his wandering attention. You no longer need a good book, which he really likes, to keep him from his prayers or his work or his sleep; a column of advertisements in yesterday’s paper will do. You can make him waste his time not only in conversation he enjoys with people whom he likes, but in conversations with those whom he cares nothing about on subjects that bore him. You can make him do nothing at all for long periods. You can keep him up late at night, not roistering, but staring at a dead fire in a cold room. All the healthy and outgoing activities which we want him to avoid can be inhibited and nothing given in return, so that at last he may say, as one of my own patients said on his arrival down here, “I now see that I spent most of my life in doing neither what I ought nor what I liked.” The Christians describe the Enemy as one “without whom Nothing is strong.” And Nothing is very strong: strong enough to steal away a man’s best years not in sweet sins but in a dreary flickering of the mind over it knows not what and knows not why, in the gratification of curiosities so feeble that the man is only half aware of them, in drumming of fingers and kicking of heels, in whistling tunes that he does not like, or in the long, dim labyrinth of reveries that have not even lust or ambition to give them a relish, but which, once chance association has started them, the creature is too weak and fuddled to shake off.