Westclock 1960s, early snooze-button
Starbucks called to me at about 6 am this morning. I thought, “Well, perhaps today I’ll pop over there for my ‘quiet time.'” Then I remembered – I don’t really have “quiet time,” at least not in the way that that phrase is used frequently, as a way to describe a Christian’s daily devotional time spent with God in His Word and in prayer.
The ordered life.
I heard a guy saying yesterday, “I just love those 20 or 30 minutes of my quiet time with the Lord every day before anyone else gets out of bed, it is my favorite time of day.” He was suggesting that everyone should set their alarm for an earlier time and try it. It sounded right, very spiritual, like if you’ll just do this – the rest of your day might be crap, but for these moments, good times.
I remember as a young wife and mother to a house-full of kids, however, I’d go to a women’s conference and hear a perfectly coiffed and beautifully dressed and genteel woman talk about getting up earlier than everyone else to have “quiet time” with the Lord. And, after initially being inspired that I could do it, I would just cry. When you have toddlers and nursing infants, you’re not only up earlier, you’re up over and over and it isn’t “quiet.”
I believe in the quiet!
If you know anything about the year I have had, you’ll know that I am absolutely for quiet, for rest, for the Sabbath, for getting my heart and mind and body settled and for receiving the peace promised when our minds are fixed on God. If we don’t learn to withdraw sometimes like Jesus did, if we can’t turn off the TV or computer and get away from people and sit and wait and listen, if we can’t be quiet enough to know He is God, we will hit a brick wall stunning us into silence for our own good. I know this from personal experience.
It’s a riot! Just read about David’s times with God in the Psalms.
So, if I’d gone to Starbucks, I guess my time would have been quiet. I couldn’t let those intelligent people see the real thing: the reading the Bible out loud with emphasis, as if reading to a Kindergartner (it was the only way when the kids were young!) with lots of starts and stops and “hey, what did that mean?”
So yeah, there is that kind of talk.
There is laughing (yes, with just God and me in the room, He is very funny). There is often awe (“Oh God, You are above all things, You are awesome in the words’ truest sense“), and there is crying, too. Sometimes with gratefulness and sometimes out of frustration, the tears fall.
Sometimes I talk too much and forget to listen. Sometimes I don’t pay any attention and we have to go back over it again the next day. But it is interactive. It is messy. It is noisy or quiet. It is curled up on the couch or pacing the floor. It is singing really loud and dancing around or weeping silently. It is life.
What I am learning about time.
Christmas Day was just too fast and crazy for us this year. It was a delightful morning, with creative and loving gifts being shared by all, but it just whizzed by at breakneck speed.
With married kids needing to be more than one place on the day now, it came and it went and I think I got a glimpse of how God must sometimes feel. When the presents were packed up and the house was quiet, I longed for the days when they didn’t go anywhere else, they were just there with me for whatever the day would hold (exciting or not). And love and understanding grew by virtue of time and togetherness. I am starting to understand more about what God wants out of a relationship with me.
I think He just wants the time with me. He wants to be in the middle of the laughter. He wants to to hear my heart, yours, too. He wants us to actually seek Him out for a conversation, for hearing His secrets. There are conversations that only come after we have done what we are “suppose to do,” after we have dutifully read our daily Bible “assignment,” filling out our church group Bible study books and prayed our obligatory prayer.
When all the pomp and circumstance has died down, or when we have fulfilled our “daily devotional time” with Him, then what? Will we just stay and hang out anyway, just to please Him, just to be near Him? Will we hang close just in case today is the day He might reveal something more of Himself to us? Is that worth my time? I am now shouting a resounding YES! Let it be so!
The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him,
And He will show them His covenant. Psalm 25.14 nkjv
Blessings – God’s great and gracious blessings on you today! – Jeanie
NOTE TO SELF: Listen for Him, stay close to Him, watch for the revelation in the unexpected moment. Get near Him so He’ll know I want Him to come near me…