Thank you so much to Grace from True and Pure for exchanging guest posts with me. If you want to be encouraged in your relationship with Christ, be sure to subscribe to her amazing blog. She shares many practical ways to live for Christ as an American teen. Check it out!
A new school year is upon us, and teenagers everywhere are remembering what it feels like to have no time for almost anything but school and homework.
According to the stereotypes, we high schoolers perpetually function on coffee and three hours of sleep. And even if that’s not entirely true, we are notoriously busy – homework and extracurriculars and college applications fill our time and leave us feeling pulled in twenty different directions at once.
In the midst of that, we start running out of time for very important, but seemingly less urgent, things. And unfortunately, our faith can be one of the first things to go.
We let our devotional time fall by the wayside. We start skipping church to do homework. We’re constantly running around, and we let God slip out of our minds and our lives. We feel guilty about it, and that’s when we start trying to find ways to “make time” for God.
First of all, there’s a fundamental problem with that language – when you have to “make time” for God, your priorities are wrong. God should be the most important thing in your life, the first priority, the thing that you fit into your day no matter what else you have going on. Really, we should be focusing on God and then asking how we can “make time” for other things.
But I’m not trying to make anyone feel guilty; I know what the language of “making time for God” is trying to convey. I know that practically, life gets busy, and sometimes you can’t really control it, and the best you can do is tread water and try to stay afloat until the season passes. And that’s when, even though we know God is our first priority, it becomes harder and harder to live like it.
The biggest thing I want you to remember is that spending time with God doesn’t have to be complicated. Don’t get discouraged by the beautiful, time-consuming Bible journaling you see on Pinterest or the four-page scrawls of Bible study your friend does every day. Obviously those things are wonderful, and when we can take more time to get closer to God, we should! But if you’re in a really busy season, don’t let the fact that you don’t have much time keep you from not spending any time. Some is better than none. Really.
So, here are a few practical ideas to get you thinking:
Read a Psalm each day. I like to think of the Psalms as God’s built-in devotional book. If you have time for no other Bible reading, it takes five minutes to read a short Psalm and pray about it.
Find a Bible reading plan or study method realistic for your time. There are so many different Bible reading plans and Bible study methods out there. You don’t have to use one that is so time-consuming you never get around to it; find one that works for the time that you have, that will keep you getting into the Word every day. Spending ten minutes consistently is better than spending three hours once a month.
Pray or sing hymns/worship songs in the shower (or the car, or while doing chores…). Anytime you’re doing something relatively mindless, pray or sing to God. Use that time to reconnect with Him in the middle of your day.
Or listen to sermons, Christian podcasts, or Christian music. Again, while doing mindless things, another option is to listen to a sermon or a podcast. A few of my favorite podcasts are Breakaway, Age of Minority, and Ask Pastor John with John Piper; try some out and find the ones that really encourage you and get you thinking. Or, listen to worship music that you love and that prompts you to praise.
The biggest thing to remember is that God is Lord of your whole life. Don’t box Him into that ten-minute Bible reading you do in the morning; make everything you do about Him. Don’t just try to squeeze Him in somewhere as another thing to check off your to-do list; God can be glorified in your everyday tasks, the homework and the sports and the chores. Rather than seeking to “make time” for Him, seek to dedicate all of your time to Him, magnifying His glory in all that you do.
This school year, let Him radically penetrate every aspect of your life.
Click here to see my post on Grace’s blog. Have a lovely rest of your Saturday!