I don’t know about you, but those lazy days of summer didn’t feel all that lazy to me. And now that they’re winding down, the fall frenzy seems to be upon us. Fall is my busy season at work, but even apart from that there is something about fall that seems to quicken the pace… even when I thought the pace was already quick enough, thank you very much.
As my days get busies and my schedule gets tighter I’ve been thinking a lot about how to squeeze in that much needed “quiet time” with God. And it’s started to occur to me that I’m probably never going to have a whole half hour left at the end of every day just waiting for me to sit quietly and meditate on God’s word. I don’t think God wants to be relegated to only a special time and place anyway. He wants to walk throughout our days alongside us, not sit in quiet corner waiting for us to visit. Sure, we need dedicated quiet time too, but what I’m talking about is the need to bring God into the very hustle and bustle of our days. Here’s five ways I’ve found to do just that
1) Look for trigger points throughout your day that can connect you to God. These trigger points should be something simple that you do every day, like putting on your shoes. Whisper one thing you’re grateful for with your left foot, and one thing you need God’s help with while shoeing your right foot. Or while you’re making lunches or folding laundry, pray for the person who will use that item. Choose one trigger point and try to use it every day for a week. You might be surprised how that ordinary action can turn into a sudden reminder to have a quick conversation with God.
2) Take a walk alone with God. Walking with a friend is great fun, but sometimes that friend needs to be God. Leave the kids and spouse at home. Keep your cellphone in your pocket. Even just 10 minutes of walking quietly can bring enormous refreshment.
3) Place scripture before you. Take 5 minutes to write out a scripture verse and tape it to your bathroom mirror. Read it while you’re brushing your teeth, washing your hands, or shaving. Other great places to leave scripture: next to your clock, on your microwave, taped to your door, on your closet. Don’t have time to even find a scripture? Try one of these. Press print right now, cut these out, and you’re halfway there:
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8, NIV)
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6, KJV)
Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not fear or be dismayed at this great multitude; for the battle is not yours but God’s. (2Chronicles 20:15, NRSV)
But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. (Luke 21:14-15, NIV)
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7, NIV)
The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty… So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:10,12, ESV)
4) Listen to Christian music, sermons, and books. Find a local radio station, download podcasts to your mobile device, use books on CD in your car. From audio Bible apps and sermons to inspirational speakers we have more options today than ever before to be in touch with God’s word on-the-go. Audio options are a great way to feed your soul while driving, exercising, or doing other tasks.
5) Don’t take my word for it. Ask God directly to show you ways to meet with him whenever and wherever you are. The more you open up your days to him, the more you’ll find he’s been right beside you all along.
Janet Beagle, Ph.D. serves as director of graduate programs for Purdue University’s College of Engineering and is a writer, a Bible study teacher, and a student of God’s word. In her spare time, she likes to eat other people’s cooking and hike with her dog, Marly. Read more of Janet’s Christian reflections at www.mustardpatch.org.