Have you ever realized that how you define yourself is not really how you are? You think you’re an organized person until you move in with a roommate who helps you see all the ways you’re a total mess? Or you still consider yourself an athlete years after the last time you stepped foot on the field?
I have always thought I was really great at spending time with God…until recently.
You see, I was really good at spending time with God. It wasn’t that I was particularly skilled at it, or even disciplined. I wasn’t trying to win Christian brownie points, or look extra holy to anyone who might be watching.
Rather, I woke up early every morning for years and years to spend time with God because I liked it. I looked forward to those first quiet moments of the day. I loved the warmth of my coffee and the coziness of a morning conversation with God. I loved reading my Bible, and praying, and watching the amazing things He was doing in my life. Mostly I just liked spending time with Him, and the ways I changed when I was in constant communication with Him.
I did it for so long, and so consistently, that quiet times became a staple in my life. They became a part of me, a part of my routine, and a part of my identity.
I did it as we traveled around the world on the World Race, I did it through school, and through graduation, and through getting a job. No matter what the situation or scenario in my life was, I would always start my day by spending some quiet time with God.
That was, until a few years ago.
When I moved down to Georgia, something changed. I don’t know if it was coming back from the World Race, or starting a big-girl job, or waking up earlier than I had been. I don’t know if it was a change of scenery, or a change of heart, or if I just got lazy. But whatever the cause, I stopped having quiet times.
In place of my quiet times, I had a thousand excuses. I’d argue that I talk to God all day, even though that’s not really true. I’d argue that it hadn’t been that long, or that I’d get back to it soon— anything to keep me from realizing just how little time I was spending with God every day, and how long it’d actually been since it was a part of my life.
And sadly, those excuses have sat center stage for a long, long time.
I was sitting in small group a few weeks ago when we were talking about quiet times. I put in my two cents with authority and conviction. “Quiet times are the best. Starting the day with God changes everything,” I said convincingly. And then in a flash, I was knocked over with a hefty dose of reality.
I couldn’t ignore the truth anymore, or hold onto an old truth dragging it into today.
Today the truth is that I stink at spending time with God. And when I’m honest with myself, that’s been the truth for a very long time.
So this is the work I’m doing these days. I’m working on getting up earlier, on being more disciplined to spend time with God in the mornings. It’s not a habit, it’s not easy, and I come to the table each day with a thousand excuses, but it’s important. I know it’s important.
Our faith, how close we feel to God, our joy, and our peace is directly connected to how much time we spend with Him.
So I’m working on making fewer excuses and carving out time with Him again because I know, from experience, what can happen when we do.
Want to join me?