“If only I had the time.”
I can’t tell you how many times I used that phrase in my Bible study classes. I can see Father John chuckling under his breath whenever I made that excuse and now I can look back and chuckle at myself too.
It is only that – an excuse.
All of us at one time or another have gotten lost in our spiritual journey. Maybe we lost hope. Maybe we got so overwhelmed we never thought we would make it through. We then did what we do best.
We relied on ourselves to get us through the hard times.
Problem with that is whenever we try to rely on ourselves we tend to look to the world for all the answers. And how does the world respond?
My throwing a million different distractions our way that creates a wedge between us and God.
So how do we make time for God?
5 Steps to make time for God:
- Identify your distractions
What is keeping you from spending time in prayer and meditation? Are you finding yourself scrolling through your social media feed mindlessly “liking” and “sharing” post? Do you spend your evenings binge watching your favorite television shows?
Identify things that you can sacrifice in order to focus your energy on your spiritual life.
- Actually make the sacrifice
This is the hardest one. It is so easy to identify what distracts us but so difficult to let them go at times.
What can make this easier is scheduling the time to make this behavioral change a reality. Sit down with pen and paper and sketch out the time you are willing to devote to prayer, reading, and meditation and commit to this.
- Journal, journal, journal
It’s really easy to see prayer, reading, and meditation as a checklist item. Just finished reading James 1 and prayed to God to give you the strength to overcome your daily obstacles? Ok – time to check that off the list and go about my day.
Instead of treating this as a checklist moment buy a journal to write how this Bible verse moved you and how you are going to incorporate this Scripture reading in your daily life.
- Turn your car radio off
My favorite thing to do in the mornings on the drive to work was turn on my Sirius radio and switch back and forth between Sirius Hits 1 and the Coffeehouse channel (my Bon Jovi concerts in the car on warm summer days with the windows down made me feel like a rockstar). I could not fathom the idea of driving in silence.
God introduced the idea to me through an older women in my church Bible study class. She described how she was so much more at peace when she walked into work because she spent her 30 minute commute talking to God. No music. 30 minutes of pure silence.
At first the idea seemed impossible. No way was I going to be able to drive without my tunes.
But now every M-F on my 35 minute drive to work I spend time with the Lord in prayer and it lays a foundation for the rest of my day and helps me to gain perspective, clarity, and peace of mind.
- Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day or two.
Just remember. It takes 30 days to make something a habit. Just identify where you went wrong (what was your distraction?) and make the necessary changes in your daily schedule to make devotion to God a reality.