If you are anything like the average individual, then you've likely run out of time more times in a 24-hour period than you can count. And no wonder- it is hard to fit everything you have to do into one day.
Between work, school, homework, laundry, cooking, other household chores, walking the dog, taking care of your own hygiene needs (if you are lucky to find the time) and so on... We all have different
So, when do you fit in time for God?
Our well-intentioned plans can fall through the cracks in a moments notice. Do you intend to get up earlier? Do you intend to spend time with God on your lunch break? Do you intend to focus on God just before bed?
Unless you have a great amount of self-discipline, it probably doesn't always happen.
I could say, Shame on you. That's your Creator. He gave you life and you fill it with other things before him. But, I won't. Why? Because we've all been there so often -- and we are our own worst enemies. If you have good intentions, but never follow through, there is a great chance that you've got some guilt about it in the back of your mind somewhere. And, well, it is not my place. I am by no means perfect either. All we can do is dust ourselves off and try again tomorrow.
If you are looking for some tips to help you spend more time with God - despite your busy routine - then you've found them.
1. Pick a moment of downtime in your routine and use it for your time with God. Now, you may be saying, "But, I don't have downtime and that's why I am here." Hear me out. If you have a commute on a train or a bus, use that time wisely. If you have to wait in dismissal line for your kids after school, this can be your God time. If you take 30 minutes to sit down and eat lunch, use it for God.
We all have little moments of free time throughout the day. Usually, this is when we find ourselves stopping to check email, social media, or call a friend. Replace those actions with God and you'll be surprised at how much time you actually have.
2. Schedule God time like you'd schedule a doctor appointment or business meeting. You wouldn't leave your doctor or colleagues waiting -- or stand them up -- would you? Not likely. Add your God time to your calendar and make it happen. Your attendance at the meeting is not optional.
3. Plan your time with God how you want it. Don't think you have to have so many minutes of worshipping, praying, reading scripture, writing, and so forth. Instead, create a system that works for you in your life -- and will hold your focus. We are all unique so your time with God shouldn't have to look like someone else's.
4. Sign up for online devotionals. There are many pastors, writers, and websites that offer these. Some are daily, some are weekly. But, they come directly into your inbox and allow you to focus on God with a message, a scripture, and a demand for your attention in the form of a notification.
If you are looking for a weekly devotional, yours truly happens to have one. You can sign up for it here. Get it once and use it for your time with God throughout the week.
If you like the idea of devotionals to guide you in your God time, but you prefer a hard copy to hold in your hands, this is a really good one, as is this one.
5. Plan for tomorrow. Most people would love to start their day with God. And why not? It is the perfect way to start a new day. It can give you the positivity, strength, and faith that you need to make it through the day -- while keeping God at your side. This can be super tough, however, if you are not a morning person.
In that case, you need to plan. Do what you can the night before so that you have extra time in the morning, such as preparing meals, picking out an outfit, gathering all the belongings that need to go out the door with you when you leave. Just doing this can allow you more time in the morning without having to set the alarm any earlier. Score!
6. Create a designated space or altar. Having consistency and specificity can make your time with God a bit easier and more enjoyable. First of all, you can't focus if there is too much going on around you. Second, if you are pining for time, then spending half of it searching for things you need will be counterproductive. Instead, set up a desk, portion of your countertop, an empty corner in your room, or the like. Have everything you need in this space.
7. Listen to a podcast or online sermon. If you have a long commute - or even while you are vacuuming or going for a run - listen to a devotional or sermon on a podcast, YouTube, or whatever your preferred method is. Let the Word seep into you as you go about your day.
"Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”
- Mark 1:35-37 (NIV)
However you choose to do it, just, well, do it. He won't say that you owe him this time, but you do. So, let go of the excuses and find ways to incorporate God into your life - every single day. And, if you need any guidance or have any questions, I am here for you.