We start off the new year energised excited and motivated. We jump out of bed an hour earlier to have quiet time with God. I don’t know about you, but as we approach the half way mark of the year it feels like life is starting to catch up. There seem to be more things I want to, that are more outstanding than things I have done. Besides for that, the bed seems more appealing than reading the bible, because let’s be honest, who can willingly keep their eyes open at 5am with the cold creeping in?
I still don’t claim to get this right, but the point is not to focus on our failures, but to get back up and try again because the truth is God is always there waiting for us. Not only that, but He is always there for us even if we are not aware Him. He is constantly weaving together our lives decisions and outcome for the good (Rom. 8:28)
Today I want to share a few tips and tricks I use to keep me focused on God. Sticking to a spiritual routine is something I have been focusing on for the past few years in my personal life. It is not a strict routine, but rather allows for flexibility. Depending on my work and life schedule as well as the season I am currently in I will mix things up. This also helps keep things fresh. Because let’s be honest, we humans have a sort at soon span and can easily get bored.
The transition from school to university was a shock to my spiritual life. I didn’t fall off the bandwagon. It was just a struggle going from a Christian school that provided us with daily devotionals and weekly chapel services which included a message and praise and worship. This was the first time on my own. There was no one to spoon feed or police me. I was responsible for my own spiritual growth, which is a good thing. It is part of the spiritual maturing process. As the first step I made attending church a priority. But I needed more. So I joined a cell. But I still found myself needing more. What I was lacking was that personal one on one time with the Lord. I did have that, but not consistently.
I came to realise that my one on one time was a particular focus once I found myself in a dry, cold or difficult season. Seasons, where everything went wrong, I was no longer in control. I felt confused and overwhelmed. And then finally it seemed like the world was crashing down around me.
I started wondering if I pursued him regularly and I once again found myself in at ‘ my world is falling apart’ feeling if I would find my foundation to be less shaken up by and affected by what was happening around me.
In the midst of my craziest year at varsity - my final year- I sought help. I could feel myself slipping, but my schedule was so busy I couldn’t possibly add anything to it. To put it into perspective, I was juggling final year practical projects, a thesis, being part of Vividus Ladies Elective Committee which meant arranging, setting up and cleaning up after events, office duties and attending all the residence’s events and lastly I was living on my own for the first time. I wasn’t sleeping, I didn’t have time to eat. Family, friends, church all got pushed aside just so I could cope with university deliverables, EC and everyday life things. I was in a full blown survival mode.
My very wise pastor at the time, Christie, didn’t dismiss my perceived ‘business’, but instead asked me if I could possibly find 5min in my day. It might seem obvious, but to me everything loomed over me like an unsalable mountain. In my mind God expected a minimum of 20minutes of my time doing daily devotions. Her question to me caused me to rethink all the spiritual practices I had previously in my life and how I could modify them to fit into my busy schedule.
Here are some easy to implement things I wished someone had suggested to me:
Those were the 3 core things that got me through the year.
After that year I knew I needed structure. I started experimenting and these are currently my daily essentials:
I would love to know what do you do as part of your spiritual routine?
Do you prefer the physical or digital word of God?
Are you listening to any good podcasts at the moment?
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