It hit me like a ton of bricks. I was sitting in our living room one morning, enjoying the view off our balcony. Plants swaying in the gentle breeze. Hazy mountains (more like hills!) in the distance. Tropical birds were serenading me with their ever-changing repertoire of song. I was spending some time reading the Bible and praying — my “Quiet Time,” as I like to call it. A habit instilled in me when I became a follower of Christ as a university student.
BUT… my mind was wandering all over the place. What time was I supposed to meet Elaine — was it 3 or 3:30? I’d better get a load of wash in — today looks like a good drying day. Oh, dear — I missed another deadline for the home office. Was today the day Myrna was flying? I told her I’d be sure to pray. Dinner… fiddlesticks. Looks like I need to run to the store.
Oh, hello, God! Sorry… I haven’t even stopped to acknowledge You. Now… where were we???
That’s when I realized I have it… Spiritual ADHD.
Typically, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) — at least the “inattentive” type that resonates most with my malady — is expressed by
Pondering this revelation, I began to realize that at the heart of my thoughts-racing-all-over-the-place mind I had forgotten what this “Quiet Time” was actually all about. It’s about daily meeting with a person… the God I have a relationship with. The One who made me and knows me better than I know myself — and loves me anyway!
I thought back to when my husband and I were first getting to know one another. Oh, how eagerly we looked forward to spending time together! We for sure would greet one another before racing into conversation — not like me forgetting to even acknowledge God at the beginning of my Quiet Time. Sometimes he would talk, I would listen; other times I would take the lead. There were often periods of silence as we reflected on what was said — and also “listened” to what was unsaid. As our relationship developed, these times of communication built trust, which in turn enabled us to be more open, more vulnerable with each other. We got mad with each other, angry even! And learned to deal with conflict… and with those “hidden” things we had hoped would never be brought to the surface.
My getting distracted, getting sidetracked, losing focus when spending time with the Lord robs me from going deeper in my relationship with Him. It robs the intimacy that can only flourish when trust is established. When openness is present. When fear is absent.
Those with ADHD — the clinical kind, not my spiritual variety — often come up with coping mechanisms to help minimize those triggers that get them off-course. I realize that I, too, need some strategies, like…
Yep, Spiritual ADHD. A “diagnosis,” but not incurable. And if you’re anything like me, I trust that together we can make progress in this area and have joy in the journey of this thing called “Life!”