I am by nature a total morning person. My day usually begins at 5AM...generally when I tell people this I am met by blank stares of confusion followed my “why?”
The answer is simply because I enjoy a leisurely morning routine. Actually, the getting dressed process for me happens in thirty minutes or less... Today however I woke up with very little time to get ready. My alarm went off at my usual 5 am and I kept convincing myself I could sleep for 15 more minutes. Just 15 more…and before I knew it an hour and half had passed.
Generally I am up and ready with plenty of time, you see I like to give myself an hour for devotion/journaling time in the morning before I go to work. It’s honestly my favorite part of the day. A warm cup of coffee, the quiet stillness of a day that's just getting started, comforting music in my ears, and a pen in hand. No obligations as of yet. No stresses pulling at me. Just me and God.
It’s a very important and peaceful time of day for me. And today, I missed it.
My days never seem quite right when I miss this time. I feel a little bit off, you know?
So, trying to recover this time that I treasure so dearly, I decided to read my devotional on lunch at work. I quickly and distractedly read through today’s devotion, It was something about hospitality but I read through it so fast, I’m not even sure I could recall any of the specifics for you. But that doesn’t matter. God had to have appreciated my efforts, even if it was only 5 minutes...
As I skimmed over the Bible verses the author assigned for us to read, I suddenly realized that I was not paying attention at all to what I was reading. I was just trying to “get it done” instead of actually learn something. I was too distracted by my emails on the dual screen next to me and the sound of the hustle and bustle of students in the hall outside my office.
Here I am thinking God should be happy I’m trying, when really I’m just insulting Him.
God doesn’t want my half-hearted efforts. He wants my full attention. Doesn’t matter if it’s 5 minutes or 50 minutes; if I’m just doing it out of obligation and not out of devotion, then I’m missing the point.
What if, what if, reading the Bible was not about me doing my Christian duty? What if it was about learning and growing and gaining wisdom?
What if I truly believed that the Bible was sharper than a two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12), could prepare me for my day (2 Timothy 3:16-17), light the way (Psalm 119:105), and give me wisdom and guidance to navigate through life (Joshua 1:8)?
Skimming through the Bible isn’t going to do me any good. I’m cutting myself short by not giving God the time of day to teach me something new and to do some soul-searching, good works within me. Reading the Bible to “feel good” about my Christian walk, to place a check mark next to the box that says “read the Bible daily”, is really just about me being religious. Not necessarily me being in relationship with God.
Which that is what this is, right? A relationship? You know, the kind where you both talk and listen and devote your full attention to each other? God’s doing His part. He’s there with ears attentive to my voice. And He’s ready to talk to me, if I could just stop being so distracted by the things of this world and tune my heart into him.