Quiet time, according to Google and Wikipedia, is a term used to describe regular individual sessions of Christian spiritual activities, such as prayer, private meditation, or study of the Bible. This is a term that is widely used in a lot of Christian Churches no matter what denomination you may be a part of. It’s one language that cuts across different Christian cultures.
In my youth groups in Church, I’d always emphasize the value of reading, meditating, loving and desiring God’s word. I believe that if we would just get it right with our private devotion with God then everything else will follow, especially our growth in Him. I’m very thankful for the people who modelled, demonstrated and imparted this to me. Now it’s my turn to pass it on to the next generation.
In my efforts to impart this to the next generation, I’d set-up challenging activities that aims to encourage and inspire us to read God’s word together daily. Research have shown that it takes 21 days to form a habit. This led me to set-up a 30 day (added 9 additional days to up the ante) challenge of reading God’s word with my youth groups. It proved to be effective as I saw the habit being formed and developed with the people I mentor. I think that I should do it again with the new set of people I’m mentoring (LIGHT BULB MOMENT!).
In the past few weeks, however, I’ve been uncharacteristically missing some of my quiet time with God. Missing my time with God felt a bit bad because I knew that it should be priority. This led me to wanting to justify why I wasn’t able to make time for that. I started to rationalize that because of my work, it’ll be inevitable for me to miss a few days every so often. Sometimes there’s just moments where I had to work from very early in the morning until night. By the time I get home I’d already be exhausted.
Excuses excuses excuses.
Last Saturday, however, as I was reading the book of Luke a few verses about Jesus’ life struck me. These verses read as follows:
Luke 4:42 And when it was day, he departed and went into a desolate place…
Luke 5:16 But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.
Luke 6:12 In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God.
These verses, just to name a few, shows Jesus’ commitment to his personal devotion with God. Jesus is arguably the busiest person ever to walk the face of the planet. He fed 5,000 people, healed the sick, delivered sermons, stopped a boat from capsizing, carried his cross on the way to Golgotha, died on that same cross and after three days resurrected from the dead. These are some of the things he did just to name A FEW. Take note: A FEW. However, even though he was the busiest person in history, he modeled and demonstrated to us that our relationship with God should be top priority. Jesus did not let the busyness of his ministry exempt him from devoting time for God. Jesus did not make that an excuse even though he had very legitimate reasons.
Reading the verses above, I just knew that God was saying something to me. I got convicted on how the busiest person on earth can still make time with God whereas I’d make excuses on why I would miss them ever so often. It’s really a question of priorities and values more than it being an issue of busyness. Jesus didn’t compromise.
We should do so as well. I’ll never forget a quote from Martin Luther that I read back in college, it says this:
“I have so much to do today that I must spend at least three hours in prayer.”
The first time I saw this, it didn’t make sense at all to me. It was something totally counterintuitive. I thought to myself, how can you say that you’d be spending three hours in prayer when you have so many things to do? Intuitively, what I’d do in a situation like that is drop my quiet time so that I’d have more time accomplishing my work checklist. I may not be able to explain logically or economically why Martin Luther’s statement above makes sense however, after seeing how Jesus prioritized his devotion to God it then made perfect sense.
I think the reason Jesus never got to busy for his devotion with God is because this was one of the things that was giving him strength with all the work he had to do. The verses said he withdrew to desolate places to pray.
Sometimes, when life gets to busy, when the demands of work and school seems overwhelming, I think that it’s a fantastic idea to just go to a solitary place, read your Bible and pray to God.
It’s counterintuitive yet, in reality, it’s more productive. 🙂