Distraction or inspiration

I’m going into Salt + Light’s studio later today for an interview on my latest book (to be broadcast some time in the future), and I find myself distracted, unable to concentrate. Perhaps it’s the interview and some of the self-doubt that accompanies talking about my writing; perhaps it’s spring fever, with the beautiful sunshine streaming in my window, urging me outdoors. Or perhaps it’s the liturgical atmosphere: we’re about to enter into the three most solemn days of the Church year, and I want to enter it fully…

Whatever the source of distraction, surfing on the internet is one of the easiest ways to give in to it! I always have lists of things I’m going to check out on the internet “when I have time.” So I took time that I didn’t have to visit a site I’ve wanted to check out for a long time now, Script Frenzy. Not only did I visit the site, my distraction is so bad that now I’m seriously considering signing up, even though my writing schedule is full. If you’re not familiar with it, Script Frenzy is a writing challenge: write 100 script pages in the month of April. Anyone can join, it’s free, and the appeal is that it’s a community of writers with a specific focus…and I know several writers who are doing it. It just seems like so much fun! Plus, I’d have another script written.

Well. Maybe this was not a distraction. Maybe I can sneak in 100 pages of script in this April. It’s great practice. And it’d be a way to outline the new script that I’ve been wanting to write for over a year now. Was my need to “step away” from my writing for a few minutes really distraction? or inspiration? I’m not sure yet; I’ll bring it to prayer later today, since I only have until midnight tonight to decide. (And I’ll post tomorrow what I decide!)

Now, whatever felt so unsettling is gone. I think I’m ready to take a deep breath and redirect my focus back to my writing. Shifting back into the present is something I need to do often and yet still find so difficult. I’ve written a number of prayers to ask for the grace to move from distraction to awareness of the sacredness of the present moment. What helps me most to make the shift is the awareness that I am loved. Here is one of those prayers.

Prayer To “Be” in the Present Moment

My Jesus,
help me to simply “be” in the present,
to accept your unconditional, unbelievably wonderful
and tender love for me.
Help me to know how loved I am,
so that your love can free me to become more truly,
more deeply,
more uniquely,
myself.
For in being my true self,
I can finally let go of the inconsistencies;
I can start to really witness to the power of your Love
that could save even my poor self
from the self-hate and doubt that at times still haunt me.
Sometimes it’s hard to believe there is any power strong enough
to free me from those inner bonds.
I am feeling their weight, their trap, their tug
even now.
And that’s what is preventing me from being quiet,
from being able to listen to your voice
in the hushedness of my soul.
Unbind me!  I beg you,
Savior, Redeemer, Friend,
my Beloved,
Soul of mine,
Heart of mine,
my Breath,
my Pulse,
my Food,
my Joy,
my Comfort.
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