“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15.5From Helen Machell:
I have always had a little love/hate relationship with running. One moment I can’t get enough, another day I feel it is a terrible idea. Ultimately I know it will be good for me and I will enjoy it, but it is a struggle. I also have the same struggle with ‘quiet times’. You might call it Bible reading, quiet time, devotional or journaling. In essence, it’s the time you listen to or read some of the Bible, read a short explanation and pray. I have spent many years feeling guilty and thinking that I wasn’t a good Christian because I didn’t have this wonderful ‘quiet time’ that so many spoke of. A bit like my running, I know that it is good for me, but doing it sometimes seems like an uphill struggle. I am pleased to say that the guilt feeling has gone.
How? I realised that one size doesn’t fit all. We all have seasons of what works for us and how we can deepen our relationship with the Lord and sometimes sitting down being quiet doesn’t work. (I’m not sure I have ever been that sort of person!) As a parent with small children sitting and being quiet doesn’t work. The morning has proved a challenge with early wake ups, and by the end of the day I’m tired, and reading means looking at the same line over and over again, but putting on a worship song whilst we get breakfast does seem to work.
I am currently on a love it cycle with running by doing a new programme of couch to 5k, in an effort to help me run better with more perseverance and endurance, to ultimately be able to run start to finish without collapsing at the end, or giving up half way through.
I am finding the same with my ‘quiet times’. As I have been running this week, I have been taking the time to listen to podcasts. I have found that this opens my eyes to God’s Word and transforms and challenges my thinking. It is my quiet time. There are plenty of other ways to bring God’s Word into your day. It might be a blog post, an online sermon, worship songs taken from biblical truths, actual notes, a Bible app or actually reading the Bible.
I have found that it doesn’t matter what, how or where I am listening to or reading the Bible. What matters is that I am choosing to remain in the Lord daily.