Why I'm Breaking Up with My "Quiet Time"
"You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water." Psalm 63:1 (NIV)
I'm taking a break from having a quiet time. Because sometimes I can get in a rut. Even with good things. And having a daily quiet time is a good thing. Until it becomes more about routine than actually connecting with God.
When God becomes routine rather than revival, it's time to switch things up. Otherwise, I might start seeing this time as less important. It becomes the second or third thing I do. After other things. Seemingly more pressing things. Before I know it, it's been days since I connected privately and personally with Truth.
And then my soul feels a bit off and sluggish. Like when my stomach has been denied food, a desperation starts creeping over other parts of my body. That happens with soul hunger too. Only the triggers for stomach hunger are much more apparent. My brain quickly reminds me, "You feel awful because you need to eat."
Sometimes my brain isn't as quick to pick up on soul hunger. So I just lumber forward but wonder, "What's wrong?" I think of a list of reasons... I'm tired, I haven't had enough fun, or my butt looks big in these jeans. And while some of those things may be true—it's not why I feel off.
I need more time with God. Not more quiet time. More listening time. Like the writer in Psalm 63:1 needed. "You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek You; I thirst for You, my whole being longs for You, in a dry and parched land where there is no water." (NIV)
This morning as I sat with God with nothing but willingness to listen, three things popped into my mind. I can't say "God spoke to me," but it felt right. I need to do some new things as I listen.
Study wisdom by reading a chapter in Proverbs everyday.
Ask God to reveal "my verse" for the day and think of ways to apply it. I listen.
Read something from someone I admire.
I need to study leadership in this season of my life. So, I pick up a book written on this topic by someone I admire and glean from their wisdom. I listen.
Read something from someone I trust.
There's a book I'm reading right now that is whimsical and grounded all at the same time. It makes me feel like this writer gets me. They get my struggles and offer up advice I know I can trust. I listen.
Maybe you think all this still sounds like a quiet time, but to me it's different. It's a listening time. A time to shake things up a bit and get outside my normal routine. A time to listen to God speak. And He does speak ... through His book of wisdom, through someone I admire, and through someone I trust.
And this morning? My soul felt that thrilling and comforting full feeling. Complete. Satisfied. Deeply nourished.
Dear Lord, I'm seeking to grow a stronger relationship with You today. Help me to break out of the routine so that I can connect with You and hear You speak. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond:
What do you need to break up with so you can connect more closely and listen more intently to God?
Write a list of things that you are placing as priorities before your time with God. Consider how you can prioritize so that God comes first, and to make sure that your time with Him isn't just another thing on your "to do" list.
Jeremiah 29:13, "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." (NIV)
2 Chronicles 7:14, "... if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." (NIV)