Feel you’re too busy to make your faith a bigger part of your life? Does serious prayer seem like just another addition to an already over-loaded to do list? And squeezing in a Quiet Time or Bible study? Fogetaboudit???
Here are five simple ways to find time for God in your packed schedule today. Make these tips a habit and you’ll soon discover that your renewed desire to spend time with Him will make the other must-dos on your list seem more manageable and even, perhaps, a little trivial. Best of all, you’ll begin to experience His peace throughout your hectic days.
Commute With Christ. How much time do you spend in the car each day? Whether you are commuting to and from the office, driving the kids to school and sports, or running errands, you can turn what is often a frustrating, energy-draining waste into a rejuvenating time of worship or learning. Find the Christian radio stations in your area and discover what programming is available during your commute times. Listen to Christian audio books or downloads of your favorite Bible teachers. (Your church may have tapes or CDs available to lend for free. In addition, many websites offer free audio downloads of great Bible teaching.
Check out the Talks section here at GCM and Calvary Chapel, Philadelphia. Listen to the Bible read aloud on CD. Listen to praise music. Most importantly, turn off the traffic report, the local news, the raucous deejays and anything else that would tend to hype you up or stress you out. Sit quietly before God. Imagine the guardian angels surrounding your car at that very moment. Think about how much God cares for you and all the little ways He is showing His love to you today.
Look for God in Your In Box. Subscribe to an e-mail devotional or two. While using office hours for long Bible studies wouldn’t be appropriate in most cases, many employers don’t mind their employees receiving a few personal e-mails a day. And moms at home can generally find time for a short message from the “outside” world. Many ministries will send you a devotional thought or verse each day. Check out the selection at Back To The Bible. They send short selections from books by favorite Christian authors, like Elisabeth Elliot, Warren Wiersbe and Charles Spurgeon, as well as other resources such as radio transcripts and daily Bible reading plans. They’ll even provide devos on your PDA if you prefer. You’ll find these quick thoughts can redirect your mind toward God and His peace when things are going nuts around you.
Make a Lunch Date With God. What do you usually do during your lunch hour? Gossip or gripe with co-workers? Read a magazine? Work right through? Chances are you could put at least part of the time to better use. Find a quiet spot—even your parked car in the company lot will do—and dedicate some portion of your lunch break to reading. Perhaps a chapter in a Christian book or a psalm or two. Depending on the length of your lunch hour, this might be an ideal time to start studying the Bible. Take a moment to ask God to bless your work that afternoon and help you to keep Him constantly in mind. You’ll be amazed at how satisfied you feel after having lunch with God. (If you’re at home with the kids where no one gives you a lunch break, what about nap time? Or the half hour when you let them watch PBS? You definitely need at least a coffee break a day with Him.)
Hold That Thought. Each day, select one short Bible verse or part of a verse, to keep in mind all day. Ask God to illuminate its meaning to you throughout the day. Ask Him to make it so plain that it hits you over the head or between the eyes (or divides between soul and spirit like a double-edged sword, if you prefer more Biblical terminology). Off and on throughout the day, think about what the verse means. Ask yourself what it meant to the people who first heard it. What does it mean to God’s people in general and to you in particular? Ask yourself how, if you really tried to live by its teaching, your life would change. Think about whether it impacts any of the decisions you must make today. Think about how it relates to any other Bible verses you know. At first it may be tough to remember to do this throughout the day. Stick a reminder on your mirror, your steering wheel and your computer screen. And how about your TV screen too? Soon you’ll find your mind returning more and more frequently to the things of God.
Hem Your Day With Prayer. I sometimes see this saying on Christian websites and T-shirts: A day hemmed in prayer is less likely to unravel. Get it? I’ve never seen this pearl of wisdom attributed to anyone but I think we can all make use of the advice it offers. Use the first moments you wake up and the last moments before you drift off to sleep to acknowledge God and thank Him for the day. In the morning you may want to thank Him for safety during the night as you slept and to ask Him for His guidance in all you’ll have to do today. Ask Him to go over your to-do list and redirect it if necessary. Dedicate the day to God and ask Him to bring Himself and His words to your mind throughout your busy day no matter how crazy things may get. Beginning and ending the day in conversations with God, however brief, will help you remember who is really in charge and what really matters. With that in mind, your day is less likely to unravel and you?re less likely to come undone or unglued.
And finally, remember to hem your day in prayer again as your head hits the pillow. Thank God for safety for yourself and those you love. Thank Him for providing food, clothing and a bed. Thank Him for delivering you and your kids from evil.
It may have been a long, crazy day but you have taken the first steps toward doing two of the most important things God has asked you to do: to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and to meditate on His words day and night (Joshua 1:8).