We had a men’s event at our church on Saturday. It was a good event – a chance to spend time with friends, share some thoughts and lots of food. I’m really glad I went (despite my quasi-allergic reaction to single gender activities!).
Anyway, we spent much of the time thinking about spending time with God, and since I shared some of my habits on the day, I thought I’d share them here too. Just don’t expect anything earth-shattering.
I should say at this point that I dislike the term ‘quiet time’. For me, it carries all sorts of connotations about what time of day, how much time etc, etc – which seems to infer that some practices are better than others and induce guilt in those who struggle with these.
The best of the day
For me, the building block is to spend time with God, when I’m at my best. That happens to be early morning, but everyone should find the right time for them. For about half an hour I do some stretching, meditating, Bible study, prayer, read something of a devotional nature. I don’t do all of them all of the time – the only constants are the stretching and the Bible study. I treat the rest as a kind of ‘pick and mix’, depending on my mood, what I’m reading, what’s been on my mind lately.
I also use an ‘idea notebook’ to jot down thoughts that I might want to reflect on or develop later. This is different from my journal, which I use in another way (that’s a story for another time).
The rest of the day
On the way to/from work I will listen to a range of things, including podcasts with a spiritual element. But the main way that I spend time with God during the day is by setting an hourly reminder on my phone (except when I’m in meetings). At ten minutes to the hour I pause, reflect, pray, stretch – basically spend some time refocussing. I might reflect on what I’ve just been doing or try to sort my thoughts for what I’m about to start, but I always spend a few seconds praying or meditating. This approach derives from my ‘45-minute hour’, so it serves two purposes – keeping my spirit in line, and helping to manage my energy.
As I was explaining this on Saturday, I realised that this is my habitual practice during the working week, but not at the weekend or on holidays – I wonder why?
Do you have any tips or patterns that you’d like to share?