I found myself sobbing behind the frosted glass, wondering if anyone could hear me. A friend had just written an update on his Mom’s health and things seemed like they were getting worse and that the only solution seemed to be to wait, see, hope, and pray. As I was standing at my desk I could feel a rush of emotion coming over me. Half way through the email I grabbed my laptop and headed to a phone booth and shut the door. When the phone booths went in a few months ago our Controller went in and tested their soundproofing by screaming obscenities and seeing if we could hear them from outside. We could.

My day started at exactly 5:00am. I remember being surprised by both zeros when I grabbed my phone to check exactly how early my 2-year-old had decided to wander in to my room and to hover next to me like the Grim Reaper. At my behest, we walked hand in hand back to his room and both climbed in to his twin mattress. “Go to sleep!” was my chant about every 5 minutes as he kept rolling around, pushing me, trying to reposition my arm under him, trying to lie on top of my chest until suddenly my alarm went off.

Our church has a Friday morning prayer meeting which starts at 7am. This was pretty brutal in January when it was still dark outside at that time, but it felt surprisingly alright this morning and I was excited to start my day off on the right foot. I wandered in and there were more people than usual. Everyone was sitting on the floor and the most logical place for me to sit was an awkward spot in front of a bookshelf and next to a wastebasket. It weirded me out a bit, but I carried on.

I sat down and closed my eyes realizing that there was a weightiness to the room. I felt it resting upon the gentleman sitting across from me who I did not at all recognize. It took me a few minutes before I accepted this feeling. I made a mental note to tell him later that I felt he was carrying an anointing and the power of God was resting upon him. He was later introduced to me as a visiting pastor. I chickened out on telling him.

I spent most of the next hour fighting my mind. I couldn’t focus. I couldn’t pray. I was wrestling with thoughts of home-life, work-life, how sleep deprived I’ve been from the kids waking up, and what a terrible father I feel like I’ve been lately. The battle went on as I thought about areas of the church I wanted to serve in this year. And then I gave up…

I pictured myself writing every thought on a Post-It Note and throwing them down to the ground. The clutter began to pile up and I wondered if I should actually just set fire to it. I feel this constant low-grade anxiety of things I need to get done. Most of this is non-essential and self-imposed. I can almost guarantee the things I actually should get done aren’t causing anxiety and somehow didn’t even make it in the Post-It pile.

Lord, give me freedom from this cluttered mind, clarity to do Your will, and the strength to carry on. Amen.