Please tell me you recognize that quote.
I’m reading Harry Potter to my kids right now and we are in book 4, where Alastor Moody is introduced. Even though he turned out be be bad disguised as good (a whole other topic for a whole other time), he had some great advice. Also, I would love to have a sneakoscope and foeglass. The sneakoscope would work just like in the book, but my foeglass would warn of temptation and sin.
But back to my point. Professor Moody’s dramatic piece of advice to the students for fighting against the Dark Arts was, “CONSTANT VIGILANCE!”
A few weeks ago, I mentioned my need for more searching prayers more often. Especially morning and night. For a week or two, it was new and magical and I felt welcomed back. Then, all those things that were excuses before came sneaking back in without my noticing. I tried to pray in the mornings in the middle of my getting ready. Showered, dressed, and hair combed, but still needing to put on my eyelashes and dry my hair. My intent was that it become a part of that process.
Then one morning I had somewhere to be. Time was of the essence, my brain was going a million different directions and I totally skipped past it. For a couple of days…
The evenings slipped most quickly, though. Golly, that bed has a power of temptation all on its own. I can pretty well ignore it all day, but as soon as the last kiss and hug has been given, my bed calls to me. “Come. Lay down. Relax. The bedtime gauntlet is over and you can just tune out here until the morning gauntlet. You neeeeeed this.”
I have no self-control. I’m practically running at it’s siren call, and before I know it, I’m enveloped in the warmth and comfort of my heating pad and blankets. About 30 seconds before I’m asleep, I realize I forgot to pray. At first, I would grab the extra blanket from my bed, wrap it around me, and get on my knees. Last night I did the huddle under the covers thing.
And yes, praying is praying and you should absolutely pray no matter what the circumstances, but my intent is to have more meaningful, heartfelt prayers, presenting my best-self before the throne of God.
Huddling under the covers doesn’t cut it.
Constant vigilance is hard!
I realized one thing that had changed in those first few weeks was that I was trying to not get lost in Facebookland everytime I felt bored or overwhelmed or like I wanted to kill people. So, I decided to remove that app from my phone. And Pinterest. I don’t end up on Pinterest very often, but if I really feel like I have time to waste and nothing new is coming up on fbland, I’d end up there. So, those are gone. It was too tempting to get sucked into a screen coma.
A friend wrote on Facebook (ironic) recently that she realized every time she got on Facebook, she was actually looking for something to read. That’s true for me. Especially something mindless. I can peruse Facebook while children are talking to me and still comprehend both things. Or tune both things out.
But, my idle time was very idle. Since I feel like I have very little time to read anyway, I decided to use that bored time to open the Gospel Library app on my phone. Not to read scriptures, because I really need to focus to get anything out of them, but I could easily read a small amount of the Ensign.
I was really proud of myself the other day when I realized I’d actually read all the talks from October’s Conference!
Please don’t point out that it took me three-and-a-half months. That might burst my bubble a little.
But that is the point. Remembering to do the little things are what will help us be constantly vigilant and in a place where we can feel and recognize the peace and love of the Spirit. Then we’ll also be able to realize when that warmth is slipping away a little. I realized it this morning. That’s why you get this long-winded essay.
In Harry Potter, the Dark Lord lost some of his power and slipped into the background for a while, but he built up his strength and watched for every opportunity he could to regain his power.
When we slip into complacency, Satan seizes those opportunities and builds upon them.