Saturday, October 18, 2008
Simple Saturdays: Simplifying our quiet time
I've had a love-hate relationship with quiet times over the years. I can definitely tell when I've gone without one for awhile but I also rarely have had what I called "the perfect quiet time". You know the kind, those that are set forth in books and magazine articles and usually have some kind of ABC formula involved.
In recent months, I've come to make peace with my expectations. Hmmm... it only took how many decades? Perhaps it is because I decided I would benefit more by sitting at the feet of Jesus each morning rather than follow some prearranged formula brought about by reading what other people expect from me.
In other words... I truly have simplified my quiet times.
I now wake up at least an hour before either of the guys have to be awake (which right now can be quite late since rarely do either have to be anywhere before 9:00, that will probably change next semester). I push the button on the coffeemaker and while it is working its' magic, I check my fasting blood sugar and get out my Bible (right now I'm using my usual NIV Bible but sometimes I use the The Reformation Study Bible) and whatever devotional I am using at the time.
This year I almost always read The Valley of Vision... perhaps the most beautiful prose outside the King James Bible! I used to always use My Utmost For His Highest, which I gave to Christopher to read each day since his college studies make it difficult for an in depth Bible reading right now. I start with a short prayer and then read a few prayers from The Valley of Vision to focus my mind on Things Above. Then I read from the Word and spend time in prayer for awhile. The most import part is to spend time with Him Who Created Me.
Then, if there is time I will pull out my Scrapbook Journal and pray for those I have written there. Sometimes I'll have time to actual do some journaling and write in a spiral notebook I have in my quiet time basket (which always sits between the sofa and a bookshelf, containing a spiral notebook, pens, my notebook I take to church with me for sermon notes, my NIV Bible, my devotional book(s), and a nonfiction book I may be keeping for such purposes).
Sometimes I am reading from a book written by a Christian teacher, as mentioned above, and I'll read a chapter or two from it... if time permits. But never because I have to at that time. I can also pick it up from the basket and read it at another time.
But my on expectations from my quiet time each day is to read a little from the devotional, read a little from the Word, talk to Him Who Made Me about my needs and concerns and supplications made on behalf of those who need prayer. Of course, along with some praise and worship to Him.
Simple... that's it most days. Later on there may be time for an in depth Bible study or to listen to a CD by a great teacher. But early in the mornings before the sun arises and it is just me and the fluffy Sasha sitting at my side... with a cup of coffee to help me awaken and warm my hands of late... that's it. That's all I need.
I've decided I won't let expectations of grandiose quiet times keep me from having one each morning. If Ruth Graham can keep a Bible open on her kitchen counter and talk to Jesus all day, I can share coffee with Him in the morning. :)
Simple Saturdays can be found at the Keeper of the Home blog, I'm sure she would welcome your joining.
Just a note: I'm expecting a house guest for the weekend so I won't be able to post until Tuesday. See you then!