I’ve heard it said that your calendar reflects what’s important to you. We find time for what matters. I believe that’s true.
If you know me, you won’t be surprised by what’s on my calendar. There are slew of work-day meetings overlapping with blocks of times to manage projects or initiatives — currently, four or five require almost daily attention. There are segments blocked for work travel, typically monthly; sometimes more, sometimes less. Work travel is draining; I sense productivity leaking out in every flight delay or wait in line, putting me further behind. The problem, of course, is that I can seldom get all of my work-work done in the work-week time I’ve blocked off. Professional obligations inevitably press into personal time. Oy.
A couple of years ago I began blocking time for personal priorities, reminders of commitments to family and friends, activities after work and on weekends, and now grandchids. I’m immensely blessed by time spent with the wee ones — increasingly so with four, soon to be five! Did you hear about Sweet Baby?
Lately, business appointments have crowded in, two building projects with the Hubs in planning stages that might also be classified under “Hope and Dream.” At the very top of the day throughout the year there are birthday reminders. Scattered throughout the year are appointments to check in, sometimes extended chunks of time reserved to meet up with close friends or family. (Much looking forward to the sister’s 50th, mom’s 75th and aunt’s 80th birthday celebrations in September!) It’s all good and important.
A few months ago, however, I realized my calendar was missing an important regular appointment. I’d become complacent and neglectful about my daily time with God. I’ve resumed the practice of starting each day in my comfy leather chair with piping hot coffee and my Grandmother’s Bible in hand. It is as simple as reading a bit, reflecting a bit, and listening. It’s not a heavy lift. There is no excuse! These twenty or thirty minutes each morning matter more than any other appointment on my calendar all day.
The part which requires the most discipline for me is being still enough to listen to God, rather than talking at him. During my quiet time, I try to leave my prayer list behind. Which is not to say I’m not praying, only that I’m resisting the urge to work through my list. I’m a list-maker by nature, and, well, as long as I have his attention … it’s a temptation. I’m still learning the art of listening.
At our church ministry team meeting this week, Pastor D shared a short video teaching on the concept of daily time with God from Pastor Bill Hybels, “Coffee with God.” It is a terrific illustration of how this discipline works, simply and effectively. Have a look and listen:
Where’s your chair? Maybe it’s not a chair, but if not, you still know where.
~ René Morley