Having quiet time is such an important part of having a well-balanced life. This is a time when you can focus on your thoughts without any distractions and bring yourself back to center. For me personally, this is a time when I like to pray and ask God what I should be doing with whatever life circumstances are facing me that particular day. I also spend time reading the Bible (the best guidebook to life out there) or different books that we are going through in my various bible studies. I also love to listen to online sermons. I think the key is to change it up so you don’t get bored with doing the same thing everyday.
I know that when I was a child, sitting still for extended periods of time was very difficult for me. It still is in many ways. We tend to lead very busy lives and it is very hard to find the time. I have found that it is important to schedule it right into my schedule. I like to do it first thing in the morning. I get up very early to work out so it is an ideal time for me. I don’t get any phone calls or texts because most everyone is still asleep. It just takes some discipline to do it each and every day. That is my set time, but I also try to go back to God with little short spurts of quiet time throughout the day. These consist mostly of short little prayers. It can be 15 sec. to 5 min. Whatever time allows.
Even with all this planning there are still 3 main things that I have found can really put me back to my old ways of not having quiet time daily if I let them consume me. Here they are in no particular order:
Whenever I’ve fallen short on a particular day or even weeks before that, I often beat myself up about it or force myself to spend twice as long in quiet time to make up for it.
Instead, I should remember that guilt is never a good thing for a Christian (Romans 8:1-4). I should not relegate quiet time to just one time all day that I am spending with God. This creates guilt when I am not making good decisions. I need to snatch any available opportunity I get throughout my day, even if it is only for a few seconds, to be with God.
A distracted mind is a normal thing. It doesn’t mean that I’m a bad Christian. Our mind is a wonderful, amazing thing that is capable of doing many functions at once. The problem is that if I give in to those wandering thoughts in my mind, I am not able to focus on God.
Instead, I should prepare my mind before I begin my quiet time. Breathe deeply, and try to clear my mind from other thoughts the best that I can. If my thoughts still wander, I should just simply bring them back and continue on.
Quiet times don’t have to be perfect for them to count. We are God’s wonderful creations, but we were not created to be perfect, so we really shouldn’t expect our quiet times to be perfect either. If I am focused on my performance, it will interfere with the purpose which is enjoying God’s presence.
Instead, I should realize that God is interested in my attitude, not my quiet time habits. I should just be still and ask God to give me a humble spirit.
Just remember, this is never something that you perfect, but with time and discipline, you can become much better at it. I know that I have. It has been a struggle though. The benefits you will see through increased peace in your life will far outweight any time or effort you put into doing it. So, happy quiet times everyone!