“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;
and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Matthew 6:33 (KJV)
She was a tiny little woman with long black hair showing significant signs of graying at the roots. A maternal looking lady, with a baby wrapped around her body in one of those sling things, the first time we met.
She handed out workbooks and told all those gathered together in a semi-circle that homework would require 30 to 45 minutes, maybe even an hour each day for five days. We would have one day off. Then we would meet again.
This mama say, “What?!”
Seriously, a ladies Bible study takes that kind of time?
Someone should have clued me on this before I showed up for the free food and child care.
But as I started to look around, and listen more closely, I heard some of the women, clearly Bible study veterans, talking about the importance of even taking time for an occasional afternoon tea. Okay, well if that’s what works for them, I guess that’s cool. I get that. I wish I felt that way. But at the time, I saw myself as way too busy…more of a grab a coffee and go, kind of girl. A people pleaser on a manic mission.
She had certainly expected such reactions. In her calm, relaxed tone, which I already envied, she expressed a complete understanding of the internal conflict. As the mother to a house full of boys and an unexpected baby at 40-something, she knew how hard it could be to carve out any time for ourselves.
But this was different.
This was time we would spend one-on-one with God. She assured us that if we would make an effort, God would respond and reward us with more time than we really knew we had.
It was easy to contemplate, hard to believe.
But she was right.
It was a little rocky at first, roughing up the family routine so “I” could have a little “me” time. But it didn’t take long to figure out this is a bit of a faith-based formula that should probably be scientifically tested.
It’s been FIVE years since I first got out of bed, headed to the front porch swing and spent time putting God first. What started as “Okay, Okay, all right, I’ll give it a try” quickly turned to a life-changing, life-altering, gratifying, fulfilling, successful bit of quality time. My husband wishes he had it, my children help me guard it and some of my friends sort of hate me for it. But it’s available to everyone.
I’m not a tiny little woman like the lady who gave me such great advice. I don’t have a sling thing with a baby in it. And my hair is not black, though it does have significant graying at the roots. But I am full of opinions and often feel the need to offer them without request. So listen up ladies, take some time for yourself…for you and God…just the two of you. Sit there in the silence, pray, read or study. It’s easier than you think. And, God will respond and reward you with more time than you thought you had.
I predict, your quiet time will very quickly go from something you’re trying to do, to something you have to do.
“Now you come on and get up out of that bed. You know any time you give to God he will give it back to you”
(My friend Marny’s grandmother who lived 83 years)
“Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.”
Titus 2:3 (NIV)
“God doesn’t tell you to do hard things so He can stand back and laugh and watch you struggle. He tells you to do things that He knows are gonna work out to your good in the end.”
“Try a thing you haven’t done three times. Once to get over the fear of doing it, twice to learn how to do it, and a third time to figure out whether you like it or not.”
If you already take quiet time, tell us how it works in your life. If you haven’t tried putting God first, try it and let us know if things change for you.
We would love to hear.