Ten minutes before two in the afternoon, I’m sitting at my desk with a sigh of, “Ahhhhh…,” hands folded in prayer.
My heart is full, my spirit content and the words of praise only God understands pour from my lips.
It is so good to have this me-and-God time. His presence is sweet—I savor it like the first sip of good strong coffee, satisfying, rich, deep—and totally worth the wait. I was “supposed” to be here bright and early in the morning, but you know what they say about the best laid plans….
It was the first Monday of summer vacation. The night before I had determined, “I will start things off right.”
I jotted down notes—my days would look like this:
7:00 ish Get up
7:30 God’s Word, prayer and journalling (and a cup of coffee!)
8:00 ish Go for a Walk
8:30 Sit down and write. Every day.
10:00 Carry on with whatever needs carrying on
This pattern would not only get me closer to Jesus, but would make a better writer, guaranteed.
Unless I overslept on this First Monday.
Which is exactly what I did.
I was supposed to meet a friend for coffee at 9:00 a.m. for some God-sized dream sharing—Big Stuff. Our assistant youth pastor and I were going to brainstorm and I wanted to be all prayed up, spiritually full.
Instead, I bolted out of bed at 8:19. Totally missed my alarm. I barely had time to fix my hair, get dressed and brush my teeth before heading out the door. (Oh, and I had to come back to the house because I forgot my planner. Ack.)
I felt unprepared, like a failure. I wanted to be a veritable fountain of light, overflowing with God’s wisdom while we talked about Important Things. And I so wasn’t.
What did God do in my coffee get together with my pastor friend? He spoke to both of us, confirmed the work He was doing, stirred us both in prayer and brought encouragement about this big idea. She was excited to receive and I was energized by her affirmations that I was actually hearing from God.
And I had to wonder, as I sat there at my desk—does God CARE what time of day I come to spend with Him in His Word?
Is there like a rule that says, “Morning is best, really, for your quiet time, because that’s what Jesus did?”
But what if I was a barista at Starbuck’s (like the gals who served us) and I had to get up at 3:30 in the morning so I could open the store at 4:30? In the morning? My son was a barista for a number of years—I used to joke that God was the only other one up at that hour of the day.
Would God expect me to get up “first thing” for my quiet time and devotions?
I think not.
STOP, I heard God say, with the expectations and the “shoulds” and the rules. Just Stop.
Come when you can–
When you’re full
When you’re empty
When you have an hour
When you have 10 minutes.
And you will be filled with a fresh, satisfying, rich drink of water that never runs out, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Better hours than even Starbuck’s keeps.
By Jody Lee Collins