With a wife, three kids ages 8 and younger, dozens of staff, and hundreds and hundreds of students vying for my attention and energy each day, any “quiet times” sure seem like a dream. But I’m finding that I can do more with less when I pull away to experience a daily quiet time.
Why You Need A Daily Quiet Time
You may be thinking that you don’t have room for this in your schedule. So why is it so important? Here are a few reasons a quiet time is important for me.
- Margin. Everyone needs room to just breathe, think, and sort out thoughts or emotions. I once heard a man say that we are not human-doings. We are human-beings. Sometimes, you just need to be in the moment without doing anything else.
- Perspective. If not careful, the urgent will take place of the important. All of the little “emergencies” that scream for your attention each day will eventually keep you from doing what you were meant to do with your life. A quiet time helps you slow down enough for you to reflect on what really matters.
- Connection. As a Christian, quiet times connect me with the one who created me. I want to live my life in light of his will and desire for me. I want to lead, love, and serve my family, my school, and my friends. Getting quiet before the Lord allows for me to hear his direction.
How To Improve Your Daily Quiet Time
Just to let you know, I still struggle with this. It’s one of those things that I know I need to do regularly, but doesn’t always happen.
So in the hopes of starting a conversation, here are some things that have made my quiet times more frequent and of better quality.
- Schedule it. Nothing in my life really gets done unless it makes it onto my calendar.
- Have everything you need already prepared. It’s amazing how I can make excuses to sleep in. Little things like not having my clothes laid out, not being able to find my Bible or iPad can cause me to give up before I even start. So I try to lay everything out the night before.
- Select a place. I have a few places that I enjoy quiet times. Which one I choose depends on the amount of time I have and the weather. I usually end up in my big, comfortable chair, a booth at a local restaurant, or sitting along a nearby lake. Yours may be different. Find a place that makes you feel at peace.
- Have a plan, but don’t get stuck in an “all or nothing” mentality. Some of you may have fallen into the same trap I had. Just because you can’t do it all, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do something. If all you can afford in your schedule is 10 minutes, then that will be the best 10 minutes you invested all day.
- Relax your mind and body. This is your time. Soak it up and let the stress melt away.
- Remember that you’re in charge of your time. Mark 2:27 tells us that this time was meant to as a gift to us. Your quiet time needs to be routine, but not necessarily ritualistic. Don’t be afraid to try new things once in a while.
For more thoughts on this topic, feel free to check out my two secrets to having a great morning.
QUESTION: What suggestions would you give to the readers of this blog on how to improve their quiet time? What things are you doing that works? What things have you found that don’t work?