Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Quiet Time Envy

By: Jenifer Metzger

Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction,
and he meditates on it day and night.
Psalm 1:2 CSB

We've all seen it. You're scrolling through Instagram and you come across the perfect quiet time picture. Someone who has a candle glowing, a mug of coffee steaming, the perfect Bible highlights, detailed journal notes, all on a clean table with the morning sun shining through the window. It's lovely.

Then we think back to our last quiet time and suddenly, envy kicks in. Our quiet time didn't have a candle. Our mug of coffee had gone cold. Our highlighted lines weren't straight. Between the coffee drip and messy handwriting, our journal was a mess. The table was dirty. The kids were screaming. It wasn't very lovely.

This morning, honestly most mornings, my quiet time was full of dogs barking and wrestling. And before you think that's cute, three giant dogs with deep barks and one senior dog that can't hear or see but tries to stay in the game is not very cute. I also never light a candle and never have coffee. And many mornings I finish up with grandbabies by my side.

Friend, I want you to lean in close and hear me well. Your quiet time does not have to be picture perfect. Burning candles, steaming coffee, aesthetic highlighters, none of those things matter. All that matters is you taking time to be with Jesus.

God doesn't look down on us and say, "Oh, she didn't light the candle today. I can't listen to her," or "That quiet time isn't very quiet, I don't want to join her." No! He cares more about our heart. He cares about us pausing and spending time talking with Him and reading His Word. God desires time with us.

Our quiet time doesn't have to be in a special chair or on a clean table. It doesn't have to be in the morning sun. We can spend time with God sitting in the car on our lunch break, on the couch while the kids are watching Bluey, on the porch while the kids play in the yard, in bed before we've showered, on the floor of our closet, anywhere and anytime. When my kids were younger, my boys shared a room, so to have a quiet, alone space, my son would go into the bathroom and sit in the empty bathtub with his Bible. Now that isn't very picture perfect!

Now, all those things -candles, blankets, coffee, all the pretty things- are not bad. It's okay to want a nice space. While most mornings my quiet time is loud and sometimes messy, I have had days where it is a little more picturesque. I like pretty things and I like clean spaces, so naturally I would want my quiet time to be the same. But too often we get wrapped up in the pretty and perfect that we fail to remember what a quiet time is really about.

We need to remember two things. First, what you see on social media isn't always real. Many posts are staged for a picture, and even if they aren't, that picture perfect scene likely isn't the norm. We don't see what is going on behind the camera and we don't hear the noise. And second, we need to keep our focus on what really matters -time with our heavenly Father. The pretty and cozy might happen from time to time and that is okay. But the mess and loud might be more our norm and that is okay too.

Whether your time is quiet or loud, clean or messy, simple or aesthetic, spend time with God. He desires that time with you. 

1. What does your quiet time typically look like?
2. Do you struggle with quiet time envy?

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