I remember when I was studying online for my Master’s degree with Kent State University. It was two years of financial sacrifice, but also sacrifice of my time. I worked all day, then went home to conduct research, write papers, do homework and respond to classmates. Weekends, nights, early mornings, holidays, were not mine. So perhaps you would understand why I felt compelled to tour the campus, participate in graduation activities for international students, meet my favourite professor and walk across that stage!
But what I really wish to get across is the fact that I had to make major adjustments early into that Master’s program. I found that I would go home, eat and then head straight to a book or my computer. I then noticed I would finish LATE at night or sometimes not really be finished, but just decided because I was soooooo mentally and physically drained, I needed to shut down the computer or close the book.
I also noticed that when it was time to pray, it was quick, just to acknowledge God at the end of the day and I wasn’t spending as much time in His Word. Note, I was doing something positive – studying for a degree. This would result in advancement in life, but while studying for higher attainment of something natural, my spiritual life was being sapped.
As a Christian, you know when you’re not spending quality time with God. You feel it. Just think about how many of us can spend over an hour at dinner with a friend or loved one, chatting about the latest happenings in our lives. It’s like nothing to watch a movie that is over an hour. And we have no problem spending hours – literally hours – at theme parks. After all, we have to get our money’s worth – right?! I sure do!
But what about spending time with God?
What woke me up besides the emptiness I was feeling, was also passing a church sign that said, ‘Don’t give God what’s left. Give Him what’s right!’ That immediately resonated with me and even to this day, though I’ve previously and since passed many church signs, that is the one which stands out to me. It is the one I remember and have shared with others.
I have found that it is easy to be busy doing good! There is nothing wrong with volunteering for charity, mentoring youth, studying towards a degree etc., but that quiet, personal time in prayer, study of God’s Word and meditation – more importantly application of that Word – are extremely important for spiritual sustenance and growth.
The Word of God is bread. It is water. Just as the body needs food and water to survive, so our spiritual bodies need food and water for sustenance.
I encourage you to be intentional about your time with God. We give the world and family LOTS of our time. What about God, who gives us life, health and strength to do the things we do?
As Paul admonishes in 1 Timothy 4:13, “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.’ The Word of God is God’s blueprint for living a godly life right here on earth.
Growing in Christ,