quiet time in a crazy world

>> December 13, 2010

this article was originally published in 
the 4th Quarter 2010 issue of The Journal,
an international magazine for pastor's wives

adapted and reposted here by special permission
by Sarah K Asaftei
Quiet time is tough to find. At least it is where I live.

I suppose in some cultures, pastorsʼ wives may manage to live at a slower pace, but the increase of technology makes life run faster nearly everywhere. Just to write this article, Iʼm snatching a few peaceful moments at 6 AM, before our household explodes into the dayʼs activities.

“Come away, and rest awhile,” Jesus told his disciples, when they were so busy ministering that they hadnʼt even taken a moment to eat. (Mark 6:31) But if youʼre like me, that can be a tough invitation to accept.

The thing is, if we want to minister effectively, if we want to make a lasting impact, if we want to be agents of revival among our congregations and communities - quiet time is something we cannot do without.

Revival at church can only come after personal revival at home.

Itʼs an inescapable fact. We simply cannot minister to others when we are empty ourselves. Even Jesus needed time away with his Father to rejuvenate and refill. But how do we actually make it happen? Where do we find the time?

Sometimes I look at older women, or at younger women, and I envy the extra free time they seem to have. Probably - to them - their lives feel just as busy as mine, filled with different activities. But itʼs easy to imagine that other people have more time to rest, or pray, or study.

As younger PWs, we tend to fall into a narrow set of categories: fiancee, newlywed, young mother. Iʼll admit, there are times when I daydream about the flexibility and freedom I once had to spend time alone with God during my 6 years of being a “newlywed”. Back when my dayʼs schedule was dictated by what I chose to do, instead of by feedings and diaper changes and nap times.

The silly thing is, I didnʼt think I had enough free time then, either. I thought I was so incredibly busy, and taking quiet time to be with God had to be just as intentional as it does today.

And thatʼs my point. It doesnʼt matter how old or young you are. It doesnʼt matter if you work or stay home. It doesnʼt matter if your house is full of children, or if you havenʼt had kids yet, or if they have all grown up and moved away.

Getting daily spiritual revival time has to be a conscious choice. It is never going to magically happen. And the less time you spend communing with God, the more empty and dried up youʼll eventually feel
toward others.

CLUTCH recently published a series of interviews asking several pastorʼs wives about their individual devotional habits. I asked each woman to share what they do during their devotions, how they make it actually happen, and what time of day they choose. (You can catch up on that series here.)

An interesting trend emerged. The women who reported having successful, regular daily devotions, all said that they wake up extra early to make it happen.

The ones who donʼt get up early, donʼt make it happen.

Now Iʼm sure that doesnʼt mean there isnʼt some woman out there who has quality, meaningful time with God every single day in the middle of the afternoon. But our best chance of spiritual rejuvenation comes early, before the dayʼs madness begins.

Right now, Iʼm in a season of life where even the early mornings are difficult. Some of you probably are right here with me. Between my 1 year old son and the new baby arriving shortly, it is not necessarily quieter before dawn! And it probably wonʼt calm down much for another year or two.

So what about us? What about the ones who do want to dedicate daily time with God, but being good mothers to our little ones makes quiet time all but impossible?

If your day is so full of babies that you hardly have time to shower (believe me, Iʼve been there!), try an unconventional approach to devotions. Play uplifting music and sing along while doing dishes, pray out loud while folding laundry, or turn on a recording of the Bible being read aloud while you nurse the baby. Talk to spiritual women whose children are a little older than yours, and ask them how they did it. There are all kinds of ways to commune with God.

Life brings all kinds of seasons. Some seasons bring flexibility, others bring exhaustion. Some seasons bring deep spiritual communion, others feel like a drought. Sometimes we are rejuvenated best through hours of deep study, other times God speaks to us through song, or uplifting relationships or supportive prayer partners.

Whatever your stage in life, whatever your season - the important thing to remember is that God longs to bring you spiritual revival each day. He hopes that youʼll think He is important enough to make it a priority in your day - even if you can only snatch a few minutes here or there.

If your season right now is flexible, why not choose to spend more time with God than you usually do? Maybe cut back on media consumption and other less valuable activities, and just soak up this part of your spiritual journey!

And if, like me, your current season is full of exhausted weariness, remember (like I'm trying to do!) that seasons come and go. This phase of life wonʼt last forever, and when it changes youʼll have a different schedule, with different amounts of time to spend talking to God.

Whatever your season, God wants to spend time with you today. What do you want to do with Him?

© CLUTCH, 2009-2010 unless otherwise sourced.
Use allowed by express written permission only.
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