I honestly thought I was great at spending intentional and intimate time with God…that was until recently.
So, there was a time when I could say that I was seriously good at spending time with God. It wasn’t that I was particularly skilled at it, or even disciplined. It wasn’t me trying to win the ‘Most Devoted Christian of the Year’ award, or me trying to prove to all my church friends that I could roll with the holy crowd.
Rather, I would wake up early every morning for years to spend time with God simply because I loved it. I looked forward to those first quiet moments of the day with just me, Him, and a delicious cup of coffee. I loved the warmth of my coffee and the coziness of a morning conversation with God. I loved reading my Bible and watching the amazing things He was doing in my life. Mostly I just enjoyed spending time with Him, and the way I felt when I was in constant communication with Him. That quiet time with the Lord became a staple in my life. It became a part of who I was, a part of my daily routine, and a part of my identity. No matter what was happening in my life, I would always start the day by spending some (much needed) time with God. That was, until about a year ago.
When I got promoted at work and started to focus on losing weight, something changed. I don’t know if it was me starting a bigger-girl job, or the fact that I was waking up earlier than I had been to get an early morning workout in. I don’t know if it was a change of routine, or a change of heart, or if I just got lazy. But whatever the cause, I stopped having quiet times.
Every morning when my alarm would go off letting me know it was time for my ‘Date with God’, I had a thousand excuses. I’d argue (with myself) that I had talked to God all day the day before, even though that wasn’t the truth. I’d argue that it hadn’t been that long, or that I’d get back to it as soon as things slowed down— anything to keep me from realizing just how little time I was spending with God each day, and how long it had actually been since it was a part of my life. And sadly, the list of excuses continued to just get longer and longer.
I was talking with some ladies from my church community group a few weeks ago when we were talking about spending time with the Lord in the morning. I definitely added to the conversation that “quiet times are the best. Starting the day with God changes everything about the day”. I am pretty sure I said it convincingly and enthusiastically. And then in a moment, I was hit over the head with a hefty dose of reality. I couldn’t ignore the truth anymore, or hold onto an old truth.
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. I make excuses upon excuses and find other ‘important’ things to fill that time slot.
After that nice little dose of reality, I decided it was time to make a change. So I am 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 the importance of spending that time with the Lord. It’s important to get back into the routine of communicating daily with God and allowing that time with Him to be priority.
Our faith, our joy, our peace- is directly connected to how much time we spend with Him. If we make spending time with Him a necessity each day, we will see change in ourselves and in our lives. Not only will we see our lives overflowing with peace and joy, but others will see it too. I’m working on making fewer excuses and on carving out time every morning. I know, from experience, what can happen when we allow ourselves that intimate, personal time with God. It changes everything (for the better).