Quiet Times, West Wing, and Being Invaded

Wow! Yesterday’s post spoke to several of you. Thanks for sharing on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. I loved the comments on Instagram too … gotta love getting a “Boom!” about a post! {Thanks, Stef! And I loved this post she wrote about moms needing their own Bible time.}

I’ve often wondered why my most popular posts are about quiet times and Bible studies. I think is has to do with this one thing:

We desperately want someone to tell us we’re doing it right!

I am amazed at how many competent, intelligent, thoughtful women become insecure and uncertain when it comes to the Bible and having a quiet time. Girls, it’s this: spending time with the Lord.

What if we focused less on having a perfect quiet time and more on connecting with the Perfect One?

Let me give you an example:

I love West Wing. It is the best television show of all time. {Don’t argue with me … remember, I went to college on a debate scholarship.} My favorite character on the show is Donna Moss. She’s beautiful, bright, capable, and a bit of a dork. When I watch the show, it is often through Donna’s eyes. I see the other characters in terms of their relationships with her. Every time I watch an episode, I gain a deeper appreciation for her character and find another reason to love her.

Now, I’m never going to get to hang out with Donna Moss and ask her why in the world she yelled at the chickens during season six.  Obviously, she isn’t real. But God is very real. And when we read the Bible we slowly begin to understand His character. We understand how simple and yet complex His love for us is. We begin to see the world through His eyes and view our relationships with others in light of our relationship with Him. The more we read, the more we grasp His nature and love … and the more we learn to love and live for Him.

You see, having a quiet time is less about what you do and more about Who you meet.

And, the more time you spend with God, the deeper your awareness is of Him in every aspect of your life and in the world around us. It’s not about what devotional you use or what time you read or if you journal or light a candle … it’s about slowing your mind and heart to give space for God’s Presence to invade your space. In fact, that’s essentially what a quiet time is: God’s invasion into your space. When you open yourself up for Him to challenge and encourage you, to convict and teach you, you’ve invited Him to invade you.

Right now my quiet time is around 8 am. I sit in a comfy chair in my dining room where I can look out the window. I grab my ESV Study Bible, a journal, and Whispers of Hope or Jesus Calling or Streams in the Desert … and I ask for the invasion. Because I’m a Type A, list-making sort of girl, I typically write out all my “to dos” and worries and concerns first thing. I offer them to the Lord. Then I read a passage of Scripture … sometimes I read the chapter from which my devotion comes, sometimes I read from whatever book I’m teaching in my Bible study class, and sometimes I read a chapter of Proverbs. I journal what I’ve read, what questions the passage raises, my responses to what God has shown me through the verses. Some days I stop there. But other days I go ahead and open one of my devotionals. I read the devotion and journal any quotes or thoughts I have in response.

There’s nothing inherently awesome about what I do … and truth be told, if you ask me in a few months I’ll probably be doing something different. I try to use what I’ve learned to encourage others so I typically share a verse or quote I read on Instagram and Facebook along with some of my thoughts.

sharing portions of my quiet time on Instagram

I guess what I’m trying to say is this: don’t spend so much time trying to find the perfect system that you miss out on encountering the Perfect One. Nothing else in our lives is perfect, so why on earth do we expect our quiet times will be??

What if we made this decision, to let go of the quest for a perfect quiet time and choose to be invaded by God’s Presence instead? What would that look like for you?

Teri Lynne

Read the Psalms this summer with Scripture Dig!


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