OK, you have decided to take five minutes a day and focus on God. You’ve made the decision to try it. What can you expect? For one thing, you’ll discover that Murphy’s law, “Anything that can happen, will happen,” has your name on it. You will oversleep. You will discover that your socks don’t match. You will have extra work that keeps you up late, so late that as soon as you close your eyes, you are instantly asleep. You will set the alarm early, and an alarm that has never failed before, will not go off! You will settle down with an open Bible or a notebook and begin to ponder your relationship with God, and the phone will ring, or you will immediately think of things that need your attention right now, and you close the Book and skip your quiet time with God.
How do I know? I’ve tried it at least a hundred times, but I’ve started at least 101 times. In other words, I haven’t quit. Interested in five simple guidelines that can help you develop a quiet time or a time of spiritual meditation and study? They are:
Guideline #1: Commit to take five minutes a day and spend with the Lord.
I’m sure that I don’t have to convince you of the importance of the idea. The vast majority of people believe that being in the presence of God is important, but not important enough to commit to including time in His presence in their daily schedule. Remember, the longest journey in the world begins with the first step, and your commitment to enriching your life by taking five minutes a day is the start that can change your life.
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved… who correctly handles the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
Guideline #2: Be definite, but flexible, in your plan to schedule five minutes a day.
When is the best time for this? Anytime, right? Dead wrong! Anytime is some other time, and some other time never gets scheduled. So look at your schedule and determine when you can take five minutes a day and make it a habit. For some, the first thing in the morning is the best time, but for you night people, taking five minutes at the end of your day is a lot more productive.
Guideline #3: Have a plan.
Three ingredients should fit into your plan. First, Scripture, or God’s Word, the Bible, for here we find the strength of the ages, and through these pages, He speaks to us. Then, you need some moments of reflection or meditation as you ask yourself, “How does this apply to my life? How do I apply this to what I’m facing right now?” Then you need a few moments to talk to God in prayer, and it is here that you connect with Him by sharing your heart.
Guideline #4: Stay focused.
It is so easy to let your mind wander. You read a chapter, close the Bible, and can’t remember a word or thought you read. Do you know why? All of the time your mind was going over your schedule for the day. You were thinking about your broken-down car or the money you owe your brother-in-law. How do you stay focused? Possibly by reading out loud. Possibly by journaling, or writing down your thoughts, by making the conscious decision to put your mind where your body is and worship God.
Guideline #5: Discipline yourself, and if necessary cut something else out of your overburdened schedule.
When it is all said and done (and usually more is said than done), we have time for what we want to do. Nobody can honestly say (myself included), “I don’t have at least five minutes a day to nurture my soul and refresh my mind.” But you just don’t find the time you must take it.
And what are the rewards? You’ll discover an amazing sense of clarity in your thinking. You’ll begin to see your life from a different perspective, and when you slow down enough to realize you are in the presence of the Almighty, you will discover that your problems aren’t so big after all. Take at least five minutes a day, friend. It can well be the best five of your day.
Resource reading: James 4:7-10