Wasting that time meant that davening stretched a lot longer than necessary—and for no good reason.
Furthermore, I knew that for Shemoneh Esrei (the Standing Silent Prayer), I needed to change into more appropriate clothes.
One should daven Shemoneh Esrei dressed as one would to open the door to someone—and not in a nightgown (albeit a very tsnius nightgown).
So I consciously realized that I needed to change, but decided to daven Shemoneh Esrei anyway because I didn’t feel like wasting any more time and to just jump into Shemoneh Esrei.
I just started Shemoneh Esrei when the phone rang.
How frustrating! If only I’d gotten a rein on my daydreaming before, I’d have davened surrounded by quiet and be finished already, able to answer—rather than trying to daven while distracted by the phone.
A minute after the phone stopped ringing, I heard a knock on the door—more distraction. Was it connected to the ringing phone?
And I still couldn’t answer.
Yet because in Eretz Yisrael, most Jews feel like family with each other, my dear beloved brother the postman opened the door a crack and said, “Oops, sorry,” laid a package on the cabinet near the door, then closed the door and left.
I admit it caused me a fit of giggles as I stood before my Creator.
It also caused me strong feelings of shame as a strange man saw me in my nightgown (although there wasn’t anything to see because it’s very modest, but still; it’s not appropriate).
What was Hashem trying to tell me?
It wasn’t hard to figure out.
Had I focused on davening with zerizut (not davening fast, but commit to davening without getting distracted between sections), I would’ve been able to daven in peace and then able to answer the phone and the door.
Hashem gave me the quiet space in which to daven, but I didn’t make good use of His Generosity.
I really need to be dressed appropriately—at least how I would dress to answer the door—when I’m davening Shemoneh Esrei. Had I been dressed appropriately, I never would’ve been embarrassed or ashamed when being seen by my dear beloved brother the postman.
So I’ve been trying to apply these newfound lessons to my morning davening...
...except for the times when I forget. ;-)