I’ve been waking up around 3.00 am these days, as my body adjusts to effects of a trans-Atlantic trip. I have been going to bed late hoping I would sleep right through. However I find myself awake in a couple of hours, trying to figure out how to while away the time till the dawn.
So I wander around a bit, pet the dog, pick up a book and put it down again for my eyes are too tired to concentrate. I switch on the TV. More of the same stuff – Trump and his trip, Trump and his tweets, Trump and his tactless talk, interspersed with bits of world news. CNN is really obsessed with Trump and trite news. Imagine – they were actually showing the police recording of Tiger Woods being tested for driving under influence. Gross invasion of his privacy. I switch to BBC. More Trump tales but also news of Manchester, Brexit, Elections and EU. I click to Al Jazeera – less obsession with one topic and a more global view: labour reform in Brazil, environment research in Senegal, lynching in Pakistan, a protester used as a human shield in India, and in-depth reporting on the floods in Sri Lanka. I watch a bit and switch off. 3.30 am. Its going to be a l – o – n – g night. I make some coffee, grab a bite and decide its a great opportunity for some quiet time with the Lord.
But that does not work ! Try as I might I could not quiet myself. One whole week of getting up at 3.00 am and I did not get any quality prayer time. (??)
And then today this article on Ignationspirituality.com titled Take Inventory of Your Spaces by Vinita Hampton Wright made me realise the root of the problem. To say my space was the major distraction to my prayers would be an understatement.
It has been raining heavily the past week, pre-empting me from going onto the balcony which is generally conducive to reflection and quiet time. The rain has impacted the indoors too. There are racks of clothes drying out in the upstairs lobby/study. And lots more clothes lying around – unfinished packing – waiting their turn for the machine and the racks. Maybe it is time to invest in a Drier even in sunny Sri Lanka?
I muse that the rain has only minutely disrupted my space. It has played havoc in the country, creating a national disaster and taking away ‘all the space’ of hundreds of thousands of families. In the face of that, my distraction from prayer because of dis-organised surroundings seems very trite indeed. But it is a reality.
The article brought home to me the importance of consciously creating that place and space that I need to go into by myself to meet my Lord. As Ms Hampton Wright says … it matters where we dwell for a time of communion with God.
She urges that we take an inventory of our spaces and gives some guidlines on how to achieve this. You can read the full article Take Inventory of Your Spaces on the Ignatianspirituality.com website.
I hope it helps you as much as it has helped me.