QUIT THE QUIET TIME

Sounds like a controversial title. We are always encouraged in church settings to have and keep our ‘quiet time’. This is simply a time set aside usually in the morning for a short reading and prayer.

While I have nothing against praying and reading scripture, I have grave concerns about this model. It can potentially breed a false sense of achievement. I have clocked in my 10-30 minutes with God and I’m off the hook. Just one of the ways to appease my conscience and myself feel ritually better. My fear is that it can foster a works-based religious exercise.

And religion isn’t really what I see discipleship with Jesus to be all about… I see it as a relationship. And in a relationship affection creates a desire for greater intimacy. Instead of just checking in every morning in a dutiful way, what about spending all day with an awareness and real engagement with God? Some of probably means praying and reading Scriptures in the morning, but not as the only way of listening and speaking to God.

Self discipline and intentionality are essential to our spiritual growth, yet I’m suspicious of only acknowledging God’s presence in pre-booked slots through the day. This can only deepen the sacred vs. secular divide that has been plaguing our western Christianity through the ages. I do my ‘God slot’ and then I get on with my ‘real’ live…

It all seems akin to ‘guilt offerings’ the males of the species bring to their female counterparts from time to time, just in order to get out of the ‘dog house’. They seem well intended but somehow slightly selfish and insincere.

I remember Paul’s baffling exhortation to the believers in Thessalonica to pray without ceasing. The secret is a life of devotion that is full time and relational, integrating every aspect of our daily existence.

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