The first step to spending time with God
As an enneagram seven, I highly value my freedom. Usually, that means I'm a little afraid of commitment.
Not because I don't want to commit ever, I am married after all, but sometimes it takes me a little longer to want to commit to something. Choosing dinner plans with a friend means I have to commit to one option for Thursday night, and that often results in battling FOMO (fear of missing out) and wondering what if I change my mind?
This mindset has impacted my relationship with God.
I can think of structure as seeming ultra-religious or anti-freedom. It seems like having too many rules results in too much religion, but I've actually come to learn the opposite is true.
Recently, my husband started working with a coach. His coach made him start tracking his time, and he quickly realized how much of his time was wasted. Then, his coach had him create a schedule that was his ideal way to spend his day, and it literally blocked off every minute of his time.
I thought this was limiting. My freedom loving self felt sorry for him as I watched him schedule out every bit of his day, and I thought to myself that it must be so frustrating.
Instead, he started coming home from work earlier. He worked on house projects before I was even awake, and date nights were actually happening. In my spontaneity, I always thought it was weird that married people had one specific date night a week. I thought that must be lame and boring.
But, I've come to realize having structure actually allows you to have freedom within the structure.
In our budget, we have a "fun money" section for each month. I can be spontaneous and have freedom within that section of the budget, but the structure of having a budget is what allows me to feel free to spend money on a crazy expensive hair dryer or goggles for my dog.
With God, I think it's easy to think that we are getting into the territory of being ultra-religious or too structured if we have a schedule. But I don't think that's true.
Obviously, God can speak to us whenever and however He wants to. Even so, I think it's important to schedule time to be with Him.
I thought my husband's schedule seemed rigid and impractical. But when I saw how his productivity in every area of his life increased, I saw that it was actually an opportunity for him to be intentional and thoughtful about how he spent his time. We were never "Tuesday night is date night" people, but when he set aside a date night on his schedule, it would happen.
With time with God, it is way more likely to happen if we schedule it. For those of us that are like me, maybe a little hesitant to commit, or maybe a little afraid of becoming too rigid, that might seem intimidating.
It seems like we are giving up freedom to have a schedule. But we are actually giving God space on our calendar to speak to us, and His Spirit will move freely in the space and time you surrender to Him.
If you struggle spending time with God, my first simple question would be this: have you intentionally scheduled it?
Because if you haven't, it's likely that you'll get a text from your mom or an email from your boss or the dishwasher will need to get unloaded and suddenly that time will melt away into tomorrow, and you're another day in to intending to spend time with God but not actually getting around to it.
So think about your ideal day.
I think all of us would include in our ideal day to have time with God. When should it happen?
Maybe you're like me and love a slow morning with coffee and your Bible, maybe even with a little puppy snuggling at your feet. Or maybe you keep a devo at your bedside table and you place it on your pillow in the morning so you don't forget to reach for it at night. Or, maybe you spend your lunch break at a local park bench in prayer.
The first step to spending time with God is to schedule it.
When you schedule it, it's more likely for you to fill that time with what you intended for it: time with your Father. And He can move freely within that space, but He wants you to commit to time with Him.
Think about what your ideal time with God would look like, and schedule it into your day.