Last week I wrote on having a plan for spiritual growth. A lot of you responded and committed to following through.
But every plan begins with a time and place. If something is not scheduled, it’s not planned.
Have you ever said to an acquaintance, “We should get together some time,” and it never happened? That’s because it wasn’t scheduled. Unless you specify the time and place to get together, all you have are good intentions that never come to fruition. Planning starts with scheduling.
Maybe that’s why Jesus introduced the subject of prayer to his followers with these words, “When you pray, go into your private room…” He specifies two things: when and where.
Everyone I know who has a successful daily quiet time, has a time and place set aside that is their special time and place for God. There’s something about making that reservation for a time and place that says, “You are important to me. Being with you is a priority.”
There’s nothing wrong with giving away left-over time to those who matter to us. If I have a few minutes in between things scheduled, my wife loves for me to send her a quick text, or even give her a call. But if I only give her left-over time, or time when I’m doing other things (like driving), she would not feel very important. I also need to set aside daily and weekly undistracted time to be with her, with nothing else competing.
Does God ever get that kind of undivided attention? I know some of you have long commutes to work, and so your time in the car or on the train can also be used for prayer, or listening to Scripture. And I think that’s a good way to redeem that time. But giving to God time that is used for other things is not sacrificial, and does not make it special. In fact, the way to make the most of those times when we are doing other things, like driving or doing chores, first, set aside special time in a special place where it is just you and God. Even if it’s just 15 minutes, you’ll find that making God a priority will revolutionize your relationship. Then the redeemed left-over time will become more meaningful. But it has to start with special time in a special place, where you can focus on God in an undistracted way.
So let me close with two questions:
1) What time can you set aside for God every day?
2) What place can you make special as your place for prayer and Scripture?