Have you ever felt like that anxious old rabbit from Alice in Wonderland? He runs around with his ticking golden clock, announcing to everyone in ear shot, “I’m late; I’m late for a very important date.” Unfortunately, I often find myself in this harried state! Like the White Rabbit, I am frantically on the move, trying to keep my proverbial full plate from toppling over like a bad game of Jenga!
In the midst of this life with all of its pulls and demands, how does one find, or rather make, the time to spend quality moments with God? I don’t know about you, but some days, even finding the time to just sit for a moment, is a rarity. It’s not that I don’t want to spend time in God’s Word, it is just sometimes, my day (along with my best intentions) slip through that spiralling rabbit hole at an alarming rate! Is there hope for those of us who find ourselves in such a place?
Making space for God in a fast-paced world:
Stop beating yourself up! If you are anything like me, guilt rears her ugly head and leaves you paralyzed. Don’t let the guilt of the past, keep you from pressing on. If this is ringing true, then perhaps it is time to change your mind set about ‘devotional’ time. Your Relationship with Jesus is a journey, not a destination. Enjoy the journey for what it is. Not for what it was, and not for what it may be in the future. Learn to create moments in the present. These intimate moments with Jesus will no doubt guide your future.
If spending time with Jesus becomes laborious and just another item to add to our check-list of to-do’s, then we have missed the mark! Being mindful and present for 5 minutes is worth far more than 30 minutes of distracted bible reading because the quality of time is more important than the quantity. Choose to make space that is meaningful. Be intentional and fully engaged. Time well spent, will result in a deeper relationship with your Creator. Start with just a few minutes of deep, meaningful, mindful moments with Jesus. No matter how busy we may be, we can all find a few minutes each day. It may be as simple as intentionally praying to Him during your daily commute. Or, reciting meaningful bible verses over and over as you prepare a meal. Your faith will increase as you build stamina and increase your mindful and intentional time with Him.
If it’s important to you, you will make the time. Ouch! Although quality is more important than quantity, there still must be time set aside, and that is not an easy feat. It requires sacrifice and discipline and let’s face it, that takes time and effort. Just like building muscle, we must keep at it. Even though it has been a few years since I was an active ‘runner,’ my body still has memory muscle. I am able to start running, and although I won’t pick up where I left off, my body remembers the feeling of running and is able to re-start. Our faith muscle is much the same. If we discipline ourselves to create time and space with Jesus, our heart and mind will follow suit. No matter how long it has been, it is never too late to quiet that inner white rabbit and his ever-ticking golden clock.
Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12 (NIV)
What women doesn’t know the word “busy." It’s true, we are busy, there’s no denying it. So how do I make time for God? For me, it is reminding myself that God is in all things. He is not in a box that I unlock during a morning devotional. To be honest, at this stage in my life I don’t have the luxury of a set time I spend with God but I’ve learned something very valuable in the process. The guilt falls away when you realize that while washing dishes you can pray for your kids or while gardening you can enjoy the grandeur that is God. Ideally, the goal is dedicated time, but that is not always possible and that’s okay. For me, it means listening to the Word on my drive to work, or rather than turning on the TV after the kids go to bed, using that time and opening my Bible. For my current stage, I don’t have a set routine, but I allow the flow of the day to guide when and where I spend time with God. I have had to be creative, but it has been worth the effort to know that in my busy day I asked God for wisdom, for strength, for clarity. I’m no longer tackling my day alone and then I can handle all the busy that comes at me.
Victoria is the Director of Communications & Global Operations for International Missions, PAOC. She has served with International Missions for over 13 years. Victoria and her husband Jonathan have 3 kids and just celebrated 14 years of marriage.
I strived many years for "balance" in my life. How did that work out? It didn't. And in my searching, I read a quote from Jack Welch: “There’s no such thing as work-life balance. There are work-life choices, and you make them, and they have consequences”.
That statement brought such relief for me. I determined to stop striving for something that did not exist and instead strive for the things that are important. It brought me freedom to live life like a pendulum, swinging in the direction that the moment needed and enjoying it to the full. I think this is also true in our spiritual lives. There will be times of great spiritual growth - long and deep moments with God. And there will be times of mere acquaintance with God – an awareness while he is silent. Would I like to have deep moments with God every day? Of course, but that is not life for me! But I choose to enjoy the acquaintance times just as much!
Wherever you are at, be encouraged God is there and He gets it! He loves you and perhaps most importantly, His grace is enough!
Karen Milley is a Toronto girl and still lives there today! She has pastored in TO for 19 years. Karen and Dwayne, her husband, brought home their beautiful daughter Deepika from India in February 2014. After taking time off from pastoring to be a “mom” to Deepika, she has recently started as Interim Pastor at Crossfire Assembly in Hamilton. She loves her 80's music and her diet coke!