Well it is finally that time of year every college student looks forward to: the few months that we get a mental break from the constant grind of classes. I have a feeling that I am not alone in saying that making the transition into the summer is a blessing and struggle at the same time. I think the underrated part of college is the consistency of your schedule. Each day you know where you need to be almost down to the minute. You know exactly how much time you have to grab lunch and you know how far back you can push studying to leave just enough time to cram before a test.
With summer it can be different. The summer job schedule may vary. We don’t always know what to expect from work. When we aren’t working, we want to hangout with friends and family. And then on the rare days we don’t have anything on our plates we just want to chill and be with ourselves, not to mention throwing in a summer vacation.
I would like to share that I went through several weeks where I really struggled with my quiet times with God. Specifically, the week I was on vacation and my first week of work. I kept telling myself, “I’m on vacation, it doesn’t matter if I miss a couple days” or “I’m adjusting to my new work place, I’ll figure it out later.” Next thing I knew I was over a week behind connecting with God. What I hadn’t noticed was how it had affected my interactions with others. I had started to become impatient and I realized my thoughts were becoming more cynical.
Far too often I put too much pressure on myself to spend time in God’s word each day that I lose sight of the true reason behind spending time with God. Before it was a way to draw closer to the Creator of the Universe, but now it transpired into something I did just to check it off the list.
Psalms 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
In a world that can be so grey and clouded, we, as believers, have a tool that can illuminate the direction we need to follow in our lives.
Hebrews 4:15 “This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.”
Jesus lived on this earth as a human for over 30 years. He understands the difficulties of life. So why isn’t he our first place to turn when life throws challenges our way?
Here are 3 practical steps to take when spending your quiet time with the Lord each day:
1. Start by praying. I do a super poor job at this and I often don’t have the right heart when I do pray but it just starts things off on the right foot. I believe that it is important to create the right mindset. It’s like telling God, “Here I am Lord, show me what you want me to learn about you and your character.”
2. Try to see what the passage of scripture says about God and his character. Even if it isn’t obvious, more than likely something can be learned about who God is. I think the more we focus on God and His character the more the focus turns to loving God for who He is rather than just becoming head knowledge.
3. End your quiet time with time of silence. It is important to be able to reflect on what you just read and to listen to what God is telling you that day. Far too often, I am guilty of quickly exiting the Bible app and going straight to Instagram or Snapchat. When I do that, I quickly forget everything I just read. Don’t be afraid to start a journal of what you have learned. Sometimes it can super helpful to quickly jot down some thoughts.
These steps will not lead to the perfect quiet time, but what will lead to is solid quiet time with your heart. If your heart isn’t in it, you can’t expect to draw closer to Jesus.
Matthew 22:37 Jesus replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all heart, all your soul, and with all your mind.”
Let’s seek to draw closer to Jesus this summer. Let’s be filled with the desire to seek Him before all else and to seek to bring Him glory.
Troy Dover, Impact at IUPUI, VP of Student Life