Last Friday morning I treated like any other day of the week. After teaching my classes online, I got my kids up. We all went to the kitchen for breakfast. As I handed the kids their peanut butter toast, my son hears a vehicle outside, checks the date, and says, “Mom, it’s Friday. We forgot to take the trash around.”
“Man!” I looked out the window and saw the trash truck quickly driving by our house. “It’s alright,” I replied. “There’s still some room in the trash can.” But I knew full well that while there was some room in that trash can, by next Friday, the trash can lid wouldn’t close. Soon raccoons and every other animal in the wild would be tearing into our exposed trash.
This is exactly how my days go on days I forget to spend time with God. I tell myself, `It’s alright I’m still filled up from yesterday or from church on Sunday.’ I convince myself that the exposed trash will be left alone, knowing that there is an animal (the enemy) out there wanting to get into it and make a huge mess.
Missing trash day is a bummer. But giving the enemy an upper hand is worse. Please listen to me closely- It doesn’t matter when you spend time with God- just do it!
I used to be awesome at waking up before my kids, drinking my coffee, and spending time with the Lord. Then I got this awesome job teaching kids in China online through VIPKID. With the 13-hour time zone difference, my job starts some days at 3:30 AM. It’s perfect for my family since I finish teaching when my kids are waking up for the day. But it has definitely taken a hit on my time with God.
Seriously, I am already tired. Who in the world wants to wake up at 3 am? No one! So, I have had to readjust. I have had to find another time to spend with God. Amazingly, I have found that God doesn’t care when you spend time with him- as long as you do it.
I have seen that if I have time set apart, I tend to have ongoing conversations with God all day. But those days I forget and rationalize, I also forget to thank him for the blessings or ask him for assistance. Readjusting my schedule has been hard. So many well-intentioned leaders and people have beat it into my head that you need to spend time with God first thing in the morning. And if you can- awesome! It worked amazingly for me, before my days started while most people are still asleep.
I’m not going to lie- I left my trash exposed. I let the raccoons get into it. When I first started working for VIPKID, my classes were here and there. I may have 1 class today, 3 tomorrow, and so on. It was easy to plug in my morning time with God still… Then my schedule became consistent. I worked pretty much every morning from 4 am to 7 am. After teaching, I would read my Bible, pray, and get the kids up.
BUT THEN Day Light Savings Time happened. Guess what- China doesn’t do Day Lights Saving Time. So now peak hours shifted. My kids were still up at 7:30. I had to rearrange my schedule. I set my new availability from 4:30-7:30 every day. But the difference now was I went straight from teaching to getting my kids out of bed.
At first, I let the trash can sit there and fill up. Then I tried to ignore the fact that it was overflowing. Then the animals came and started making a mess.
I’ve written about this before. I don’t always notice the issue right away. It’s usually not until my peace gets interrupted. When the fruit becomes spoiled instead of delicious. My patience starts running thin. I’m easily annoyed and frustrated.
There’s only one cure- that’s Jesus. Luckily for me, I don’t have to wait until trash day. I can go to Him whenever and where ever I want!
While waking up and spending time with God is still ideal in my book, if you can’t make that work- that’s ok. God already knows our circumstances. He already knows what tomorrow holds. He is not surprised by any of this, but we are. We need that grounding. We need to build our relationship with God. We cannot afford for our peace to be interrupted.
It does not matter when you make time for God, all that matter is that you DO make time for Him. Maybe that’s nap time. Maybe that’s before bed. Maybe that’s while dinner is cooking. It’s your relationship. Whatever works for you, may not work for all. In my experience, keeping it consistent helps, but is not always an option.
Different seasons of my life have left me forced to change this precious time. For a brief season in my life, Bible time was nap time. I also had great success with having my Bible reading and prayer after breakfast. I would have my kids read quietly in the living room, while I ate my breakfast with Jesus. If you cannot find the time, pray that God will unveil a proper time to you. There are 24 hours in a day. Surely there is a time that will work for you, but it has to be a priority. You would not expect a friend to remain a friend if you never put the effort into communicating or spending time with her. In the same way, you cannot expect your relationship with God to grow if you are constantly letting the trash pile up.
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105