This week I have been brutally tired to the point that it was so tempting to sleep in and skip my quiet time. I didn’t sleep well and all the voices in my head said that I could do it ‘later.’ But i know that for me, once the day gets going ‘later’ never comes and before I know it a week has gone by. So I made a list of the excuses I hear for skipping a quiet time and why they simply don’t add up.
Excuse #1: “I’m not a morning person.”
I make this the number one excuse because its the one I have personally struggled with the most. It is hard for me to get up in the morning. I have had to make it a huge priority in order to form this habit. Now you don’t HAVE to have your quiet time in the morning, but I would say that if you are struggling to form the habit of having a quiet time, morning is your best bet. Once the day begins it is too easy to put it off and let it be replaced by the busyness of the day.
You need to find your own currency. I heard of a woman who set her alarm by her bed, but then set a second alarm outside her child’s bedroom door for five minutes later. You can bet that she got herself out of bed each morning in time to get that alarm!
More than likely you do get up early occasionally. Identify what is important enough to make you get up early and make your quiet time that same level of priority. Having your quiet time should be the same level priority (and more) as getting the kids to school, getting up in time for appointments, getting to work. Get yourself to bed on time so that you are not so exhausted that you can’t get up and focus on the Word.
Excuse #2: “I am too busy.”
If you say you are too busy to have a quiet time, I believe you. When I say ‘yes’ to a project, commitment or add an activity to my kid’s schedule, I know that I am saying ‘no’ to something else at the same time. There is only so much of me and I can only fit so many things into my day.
If I say ‘yes’ to so many things that I no longer have time to have a quiet time, I am actually saying ‘no’ to God. Throughout the Bible I see verses about planting myself in God’s Word, walking with him, writing the Bible on my heart. He clearly wants the Bible to have a presence in my life. So when I take on so many things that I can no longer sit down to read the Word, I have added something to my life that he didn’t intend.
The good news is that you don’t have to tackle this on your own. Pray over the things in your schedule and ask God to help you know what to change. He is a good Father who cares about your well-being. He will convict you of the things that need to go.
I suggest that you list the top five ways you spend your time. Then look over them and pray about each one. Are you spending too much time on Netflix? Do your children have so many activities that you are constantly in the car shuffling from one to the next? If your life is too full to allow you to spend time in scripture on a regular basis, there is something in your life that shouldn’t be.
Excuse #3: I don’t know where to start.
I actually love this excuse, because it is so easily solved! Begin by opening your Bible. That’s it. I feel like I should read all four gospels at least every year, so if you like start there. Just read. Pray that God will speak to your heart and then spend time in the Word until he does.
I love Bible studies and nifty tools to go with scripture study, but all you need is the Word of God. In fact I highly suggest that if all you ever do is study with the help of a Bible study that you take time to approach the Word alone. By this I mean open the Bible with no other tool. Simply engage the Bible and pray for wisdom to understand it. God made his word approachable and understandable.
If you’d like to read more about having a quiet time, check out this post. What did I leave out? Leave a comment and tell me what excuses you have heard for skipping a quiet time.