Overcoming my “quiet time” misconceptions

For months now, I’ve been longing for a day where I could break away, invade a little coffee shop, write, journal and pray. Ideal quiet time to listen to God and understand what He wants from me.

For months now, it hasn’t happened.

Quite frankly, I don’t know if it will ever happen. I don’t even like coffee.

But that idea, that image in my mind, kept me from even attempting a quiet time/journaling session. The idea that it had to be one way and perfect kept me at arms length of what I really wanted and really needed – a moment to talk or type through what I want to do with my life.

Thanks to my wonderful Bible study group, I’ve come to realize that isn’t how it has to be. I don’t need to devote a solid 4 hour block of time for this. I can carve out twenty minutes here, fifteen minutes there. The point is to be quiet. Be still. Listen. Stop checking my email and Facebook and let God speak to me.

I’m amazed at what came out of my first twenty-minute quiet time. And I’m thrilled for the next one. And the next one.

Don’t wait for situations to be perfect. Don’t put off that workout until you “have the time.” Don’t put off that novel until you’re able to do the “coffee shop writer routine.” Don’t wait for that “perfect moment” to tell someone how you feel (good or bad.) Because these are all excuses. Have the courage to move forth, even when the situations aren’t perfect.

What idea or misconception kept you from moving forward with something?

More about Nicole

Community Champion at Buffer ~ writer ~ reader ~ urban homesteader ~ former rodeo queen ~ @nmillerbooks

  • Heidi Chiavaroli

    Thanks for the post, Nicole. I think the thing I put off the most is verbally sharing my faith with others. I think it has to be “just the right time.” Thanks for giving me that boot in the rear! 😉

  • Thanks for reading, Heidi! I agree with you there too and that is a reminder I need as well!

  • Nicole, this reminded me of a story I read a long time ago:

    I found that there was an area of me that did not want to pray…(and) there was a part of me that did. The part that didn’t was the emotions, and the part that did was the intellect and the will…

    (So) I said to my will: “Will, are you ready for prayer?” And Will said, “Here I am, I’m ready.” So I said, Come on, Will, we will go.

    So Will and I set off to pray. But the minute we turned our footsteps to go and pray all my emotions began to talk: “We’re not coming, we’re not coming, we’re not coming.” And I said to Will, “Will, can you stick it?” And Will said, “Yes, if you can.” So Will and I, we dragged off those wretched emotions and we went to pray, and stayed an hour in prayer.

    If you had asked me afterwards, Did you have a good time, do you think I could have said yes? A good time? No, it was a fight all the way.

    What I would have done without the companionship of Will, I don’t know. In the middle of the most earnest interecessions I suddenly found one of the principal emotions way out on the golf course, playing golf. And I had to run to the golf course and say, “Come back.”…It was exhausting, but we did it.

    The next Morning came. I looked at my watch and it was time. I said to Will, “Come on, Will, it’s time for prayers.” And all the emotions began to pull the other way and I said, “Will, can you stick it?” and Will said, “Yes, in fact I think I’m stronger after the struggle yesterday morning.” So Will and I went in again.

    The same thing happened. Rebellious, tumultuous, uncooperative emotions. If you had asked me, “Have you had a good time?” I would have had to tell you with tears, “No, the heavens were like brass. It was a job to concentrate. I had an awful time with the emotions.”
    This went on for about two-and-a-half weeks. But Will and I stuck it out. Then one morning during that third week I looked at my watch and I said, “Will, it’s time for prayer. Are you ready?” And Will said, “Yes, I’m ready.”

    And just as we were going in I heard one of my chief emotions say to the others, “Come on, fellows, there’s no use wearing ourselves out: they’ll go on whatever we do.”…

    Suddenly one day (weeks later) while Will and I were pressing our case at the throne of the heavenly glory, one of the chief emotions shouted “Hallelujah!” and all the other emotions suddenly shouted, “Amen!” For the first time (all of me was involved) in the exercise of prayer.