Weekly blog – December 18, 2019
This morning I was in the shower, and the thought came to my mind, “Lately, this is the only quiet time I have!” The water running, pelting my body, and keeping all other noises on the outside of the shower wall. My shower time allows me to de-stress a bit and let my thoughts wander.
How many of you have Quiet Time carved out for yourself regularly in your life?
As many of my readers know, my wife Kathy has progressive M.S., I tend not to leave her alone too often, as she needs help with many things that are ordinary routine accomplishments for others. Believe me, when I tell you, I’m not complaining one bit. I love my wife, and at this stage in my life, a significant part of my ministry is to care for her.
So I’ve had to adjust some things in my life, such as quiet time for myself. Here’s what I do. Each day I generally get up about an hour or two before Kathy (Between 5:30 and 6:00 a.m.). I head to the kitchen, set up the coffee pot, get two cups out, and put sweetener in hers. I do this for a reason.
Once the coffee is ready, I go to my home office and close the door (actually, I leave it slightly ajar in case she needs me). I have a coffee cup heater on my desk, as I like my coffee very hot. I turn on my computer and turn on smooth jazz music. For the next hour or so, I read devotions, the bible, pray and write. (Okay and a little Facebook tooJ)
Most times, I hear Kathy as she walks out of our bedroom, as she shuffles when she walks, due to leg numbness from the M.S. When I hear her, immediately get up go to the kitchen, finish preparing her coffee, and bring it to her after she seats herself on our reclining sofa. We exchange good mornings and other niceties, and I then head back to my office.
Oh, remember the sweetener I put in her cup when I was preparing the coffee? That’s so she has one less thing to do in case I don’t hear her get up while I’m in my office (Doesn’t happen often.)
Every couple of weeks or so, I try and get some quiet time for myself away from the house. On those days, I generally get up early (5 a.m.) shower in the hallway bathroom so as not to wake Kathy, set up the coffee for her, with her cup in place, and I’m out of the house usually within 30 minutes or less (yes, I do dress before I leave – I actually plan this the night before and lay my clothes out in the living room).
Usually, I go to Starbucks for coffee and a croissant. The barista’s there know me by name and say, “Good morning Joe.”
This too is my time… time to read, check the news on my phone, read a devotion, do some writing, as well as personal prayer time. It’s also a time for me to be alone with my thoughts and listen to God. (Kathy texts me good morning when she gets up, and usually says, “I didn’t ever hear you leave,” which is my goal.
Jesus sought quiet time out too. Time to pray, gather His thoughts, and talk with His Father. In Mark 6:31, Jesus said this to His disciples, “Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
Right now, during this Holiday season (I say holiday as I incorporate Thanksgiving and Christmas together, with Thanksgiving kicking off the season of Christmas), our lives are incredibly busy… parties, shopping, travel, giving and helping others, and waiting for that day, Christmas, when we celebrate the birth of our savior. That is one busy schedule.
You must have rest and time alone in whatever you call your quiet place and time. Jesus sought it out for Himself and His disciples.
In Mark 6:46, Jesus was still seeking time alone to pray and be still, “After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.”
I want to encourage you over these next few days and weeks, as well as throughout your lives …. Follow in His footsteps, He wants you to rest, to have quiet time alone, time to pray, and to talk with Him.
And remember this, when you take that quiet time to be alone with your thoughts and to spend time with God, remember To pray not just requests but to have a conversation with Him about your needs, your wants, and His plan for you.
That’s right His (God’s) plan for you, not your plan for you. He does have one for you and He will reveal it to you in His own time, so don’t be impatient.
And you’ll find that many times He reveals His plan during those quiet moments you have one on one with Him.
Let me leave you with these words from Jeremiah 29:11 that I believe was aimed at people of all ages…
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”