"The most important decisions you make are not the things you do, but the things you decide not to do." - Steve Jobs
"If it is important to you, you will find a way; if not, you will find an excuse."
Finding time to have quite and quality time with the Lord can be difficult. Our lives can be so full of distractions and busyness that quite time of any kind can be almost impossible to find. As a parent with four young children, I understand how taxing life can get sometimes. My kids love to wake up early (like between 6:00-6:30 early!), and I enjoy doing my devotions in the morning. This usually means, I have to wake up super early to find time to spend with the Lord. It can honestly be a challenge. I know many of you have similar difficulties: a demanding job, children, bad habits, even ministries can all consume our time so that little to no time remains for the Lord. How do you remedy this? Is there a solution to having quality and quantity time with the Lord in the midst of busyness? I would like to give you some encouragement in this post, YES it is possible!
First, let me be brutally honest, most of our lack of time with the Lord is self-inflicted. I can conjure up some pretty amazing excuses of why I missed time with the Lord, and neglected my Bible. The truth though is, usually (there are some rare exceptions) I valued other things higher than I did my Bible reading. My vices are sleep (an extra 30 min - 1 hour sounds appealing some mornings), entertainment (particularly sports, a movie with the family, or a good book), and study (as a pastor it is easy for me to feel justified in substituting my sermon preparation for personal devotions). What are some things that consume your time that you could have used for Bible reading? Be honest, last week how many times did you read the Bible? On the days you missed, could you have read your Bible if you had prioritized it? My point here is not to belittle or beat you up, but to get you to think. Time with the Lord is possible, it just take some prioritizing... if it is important enough to you, you will do it.
There are days when devotions are an impossibility. I can look at my life and see days that were literally consumed with important and urgent things that absolutely demanded my time, emotion, and attention. During these days, I found myself longing to have time with the Lord, and trying my best to sneak away quietly to steal a few moments with my Lord. I understand... it can be rough. When you put a few of these type days in a week, you are going to be physically, emotionally, and most importantly spiritually drained. God did not design us to go so long without spiritual food from the Word.
If you are in a place where the demands are so great that you have little to no time with the Lord, something needs to change. Maybe a new job, a schedule shift, some kids activities need to be cancelled, SOMETHING drastic needs to happen or you will burn out. There are seasons in life when life is demanding. I think about when each of my four children were born. The days after their arrival, and even the next couple weeks were so demanding on both my wife and I. It was a special season that made having a consistent meaningful devotional life a challenge... but it was a season. There is a difference between a special short-term hiccup and constant depriving of God's Word.
I want to say a special note to moms. Having little ones can be especially challenging, and I understand the struggle can be real. BUT, don't give up... keep fighting to have a strong walk with the Lord and a healthy devotional life. The strength and help you will receive from the Word of God and prayer will make up for any sleep or entertainment you miss out on. YOU CAN DO THIS! It is worth the sacrifice and effort, decide now that you will have your devotions. If you miss a day, don't beat yourself up, just figure out what went wrong, learn from it, and try again.