It’s hard to find time with God. I’m not a monk, you know? So while this is a serious priority for me, the fact is my kids get up at dawn (or before, in the case of Joseph), I’m on call 24 hours a day, I have a job with a significant commute, my energy is limited, my marriage requires time and regular investment, and when I’m off routine (like during maternity leave or vacation) it’s hard for me to do anything regularly.
I go through seasons of trying really hard to find something that works for me, only to get frustrated and stop. I’ve done the get-up-at-4am thing. But then I fall asleep way too early in the evening…er…afternoon. I’ve tried the popcorn-prayer-through-the-day thing, but that is unsatisfying. And I’ve done the read-through-the-Bible thing, but it becomes hollow and rote exercise rather than life-giving and transformational.
Now I’m trying the discipline of the Daily Office – setting aside a few times a day for shorter reflection (like 5 to 15 minutes). Time of silence, solitude, and scriptural reflection. And with this freedom, I have lots of flexibility as to how to have time with God. We’ve spent some good time together praying (a combination of me talking some and listening more) in the car during our family road trip. I also have taken slightly longer restroom breaks – the one time I’m guaranteed to be alone – and found a bench to sit and reflect on a psalm or select verses. And in the hotel, I found the conference room level which was vacant and took a slightly longer stroll than normal to and from the car to loop through that area and have quiet time with God.
Flexibility is key for me. It’s about ENJOYING God and my time with Him, not following a bunch of rules or becoming legalistic in my walk. It’s about God being a part of everything I’m doing, and not being confined to the “30 minutes of quiet time” in the morning (I need SO much more than that). I’m still working it out, but I’m committed to getting this down. Whether it’s getting up earlier than everyone else, or stealing some private moments alone, I’m going to find something that’s sustainable long term.