Maybe you picture time spent with God as an effortless zen-like state. Perhaps you think there’s something wrong with you because it doesn’t come to you without work? Maybe you think quiet time just isn’t for you? People have told me that silence or meditation or doing devotions just isn’t them.
Okay. I don’t think quiet time comes naturally to most people.
We might want it to. But, in our cluttered, noisy culture it takes real effort to find a quiet moment let alone regular separate time or space with God. Our tech alone demands our attention constantly. Then there are our jobs, families, daily chores, as well as emotional and physical struggles that take our attention and effort.
Spending time with God in devotions is not about floating peacefully on a cloud with calming harp music gently wafting through the air. (no offence to the harp players I know) It requires choosing to spend time, find space and give our attention to God. Attention and effort are needed. To do it regularly requires self-discipline just like anything we’re trying to develop into a habit.
As young children our parents instilled in us practices of brushing our teeth and showering and hopefully they became habits. These habits are part of our daily lives done mostly without thinking. Taking time with God in devotions or making Godspace can be the same. If we do it long enough it can become a habit.
But like athletes we need to develop our habits.
If an athlete decided that running 400 metres in practice was enough then they wouldn’t be able to excel in the 500 metre race. As well, we have to keep up our devotional habits up. That involves how often we do it and what we do.
One morning this week, I was doing God time and as I looked up the 10th of a dozen verses I was meditating on I thought to myself, “this is enough, I’ve gotten good stuff here”. But as I was about to put my Bible away I thought , “no, I need to finish and see what God has for me today”.
So I did. And it turned you that in conjunction with meditating on earlier verses the last verse was very powerful! God spoke so distinctly and touched my life with the total of those verses together. If I had quit two verses early I would have missed what God had to say to me that day.
Experiences like that mean I am less likely to skip verses or cut off my quiet time early. The effort was worthwhile. So it is with our devotions. We need to make effort and we will train ourselves to spend that time, to give that attention and God will meet us there.