Journal 2005. Until we entered junior high, our boarding school devotions were conducted nightly in a group setting, led by one of the aunties. But there came a time when they wanted to instill in us the discipline of meeting with the Lord on our own, and they woke us half an hour early with the instructions to read our Bible and pray. I loved this quiet time of reflection that set the tone for my day, and I continued this daily habit long after it was a requirement. Many days, however, it was sheer discipline and will power and perhaps a little self-righteousness that kept me from quitting. Eventually that changed. Duty became delight. When you love someone, it’s not a chore to be in their presence. When I wake, the first thought on my mind is I get to spend some alone time with my Lord.
I’m starting a new journal today that has a prescribed format for a Quiet Time, but I never was one to follow the rules and outlines of a devotional. Some days I only read; other times I only pray; still others I take time to process emotions and memories to renew my mind.
Not everyone has the same upbringing, training, drive, or temperament as I, and I hear many friends lament that they can’t seem to be consistent in their Bible reading and prayer time, even if they desire it. Young mothers in survival mode, especially, struggle with carving time out of a busy, sleep-deprived day to spend extensive time with the Lord. Unlike some teaching from the pulpit, I know God doesn’t punish or berate me if I skip a day. Let’s lay aside once and for all the guilt and shame of not meeting someone else’s standards or spiritual disciplines. Having a daily QT doesn’t make a person holier or more righteous, but it does help to create space for God to speak, and I think that’s a good thing.