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Being the kind of person who is more introverted than extroverted, there are a few things that I tend to gravitate towards and many of my kind will agree that schedules and planning are at the top of the list. In earlier years, before I evolved into a more balanced human being( thanks to the influence of my friends), I was so rigid with my time and the activities attached to it. It would take a lot of convincing to lure me into a hangout if I had earlier allocated that time to something else and even if I agreed to go, I would always count the minutes till I could resume my space of comfort.

Setting up structure is a beautiful thing and it is what sets us within the bounds of sanity. It is what strengthens discipline in the areas and habits we so greatly want to embrace. Yet as I grow, I have benefited greatly from spontaneity.

Our quiet time is no different. While I have a set time of meeting with Jesus every day in the wee hours of the morning, I have enjoyed the times He draws me to spend time with Him – focused attention- even in unexpected hours.

Changing Seasons of Quiet Time

Life is a host of experiences and situations. It would be total deception if we led ourselves to believe that as the world is shaking around us, this area (of quiet time) will be unaffected. With different seasons come different margins of time. My greatest transition was when I returned to my 8 to 5 job at the hospital and my morning time had to be subdivided. In between spending time with God, I also had to factor in personal preparation and grooming as well as the time it would take to transit to work. The first few weeks left me breathless and while I still showed up for my quiet time, there was a part of me that felt guilty for not seeing it through as lengthily as I used to. Perhaps you’re a newlywed, a new mother who has to care for a young one and you still desire to have a quiet time but because of the responsibility of a newborn, it is proving difficult. Or maybe you are in a season of suffering and the weariness can’t enable you to even crawl to His feet let alone pull out your journal. Or maybe even the little time you have is slowly swallowed up by other responsibilities that scream for attention. The list could go on and on. Our feelings of underachievement can cause us to stay in guilt rather than conviction. This guilt arises when we focus on the how’s and when’s more than the why Our different seasons should not excuse us from spending time with God or justify the lack of it but it shouldn’t also be a source of guilt when we have to rearrange how we meet with God.

What then do we do with the frustrations of not showing up at desired set times? What do we do when life seems to beat us from all directions? What do we do when all we can get is five minutes from what used to be hours of lingering and waiting on the Lord?

One day when I was exhausted from an extremely busy week, I slept in and I knew I was not going to have my quiet time at the usual time so I just spent some conscious moments saying hello and talking to God when I woke up. I expressed my exhaustion and there was no guilt lurking. I allowed myself to be lost in the privilege and the gift of rest to recharge my body. I left my bed at around 2 pm and after finding something to eat, I returned to the same bed. Sitting at my desk seemed like a return to exhaustion. By the time it was getting to 6 pm, an unexpected urge to just get out of bed and have focused time with God came over me. To try and express the immense joy I felt at that moment would be impossible. God had allowed me to be content and enjoy Him with silent whispers yet He invited me for more of Him and I yielded.

My heart had been ushered into a longing that felt so revitalizing and I kept whispering to God “Thank you for a longing that goes beyond structure or schedule. Thank you for a longing that infuses strength in my frail body. Thank you for a longing that allows me to see you in the midst of all the debris in my mind. “ As I pen this down, I am taken to that same day and emotions are washing over me. This kind of longing is what will rid us of the guilt when our seasons change. It will help us to show up and be led by God to not only make time but take time.

Quiet time is grace-based. Yesterday’s failure does not diminish today’s opportunity to know and enjoy Jesus. Guilt dwells on wrong’s committed in the past while conviction involves choosing a new path for the future.

Naomi Vacaro
Quit Governing Your Quiet Time

Our Instagram Feeds with our favorite Christian Creatives are usually pictures of great Bible Pages outlined and often you will see them show up with a cup of coffee, their Bible, and a Journal. I am such a Creator who does that as well. While there is nothing wrong with it, I think there’s a perception of quiet time that we buy into or have been conditioned toward; either consciously or unconsciously, that can sometimes box us.

In 2020, there was a season I would come into the presence of God; both in praying and reading the word, and sometimes I would feel like it lacked some sort of vibrance. It is a good thing to expect, and long for freshness but when it is derived from how it makes us feel, we are prone to err and we miss God’s purpose for communion. For two days, I kept assessing/questioning my quiet time and God had to gently remind me that my only requirement is to show up and He, who provides the fire would attend to the sacrifice laid at the altar; my expectant heart. This would mean being open, being flexible, relinquishing control, and letting God guide as He would. Quiet Time is diverse provided the Word of God is at the center of it regardless of whatever season you’re in, Perhaps your quiet time will look like listening to an audio Bible as you breastfeed your child, or maybe it is letting worship voice out your groanings or sitting with a journal or walking while praying. All these approaches are means that draw us near.

When we try to govern our quiet time by having preconceived notions of how it should be or how it makes us feel, we run the risk of missing out on God’s move. There is no one way to have a quiet time.

God wants to spend time with you and His grace is available in every season. I pray God gives you a longing for His presence that is unmatched and may He enable you to show up each day as you grow in the knowledge of Him and His will. Even with the chaos of life, may ‘quiet‘ be a posture you take. Quiet time is not about how quiet our environment/life is but more about our souls being quieted in God’s presence. Psalm 131:2 “Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul…”

6 thoughts on “QUIET TIME GUILT

  1. Quiet sounds like being still.
    They are both a state of mind we need, when the holyspirit is moving and speaking.
    Am curious is it possible to have quite time through out one’s day?

    1. I love how you have put it: it is a state of mind!
      Yes, continuous fellowship is definitely possible. I love how Brother Lawrence shares about The Practice of the Presence of God.

  2. “Thank you for a longing that goes beyond structure or schedule”. Thank you for sharing .This is a beautiful reminder . Stay Blessed Chebet

  3. There’s no one way to one way to have quiet time!

    This post is everything. Thank you for sharing. ❤️

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