The alarm drags you out of half-remembered dreams. You slam the bed stand several times before hitting the alarm. You drag yourself out of bed, to the bathroom, and into your clothes. Class starts in less than an hour, and you barely have time to grab breakfast before your day starts. You spend the rest of the day caught up in school and assignments. The demands of your schedule overshadow your commitment to read your Bible.
Most of us intend to spend time with God daily. Unfortunately, school, work, and daily life all interfere with our good intentions. These tips, while they are not commands, may help you carve out time to spend with God.
List your Priorities
First, sit down and list all the tasks and activities in your life. Include school, work, personal goals, video games, social media, anything you spend time on. Then rank your list in order of importance. Ideally, spending time with God will be first. How you rank your activities depends on what you value. Now that you have a ranked list of your priorities, each day do the highest ranked tasks first. If this makes you panic, then you may have ranked your priorities wrong. It’s okay to start over.
This exercise is meant to help us prioritize what’s important to us. Few of us consider social media more important than spending time with God. However, we often skip quiet time because we’re “busy”, but we rarely skip checking social media. Unless we intentionally put God first, we will prioritize other things.
Once a week, I meet with a woman from a local campus ministry. I read through one chapter of the Bible a week, and when we meet, we discuss it. Knowing that I’m going to meet with her makes it difficult to miss quiet times.
Accountability helps us prioritize time with God. Sometimes that’s just because you don’t want to have to admit that you skipped three quiet times. Finding accountability might sound scary, but it doesn’t have to be. You can ask a mentor, pastor, parent, or friend to keep you accountable. You can also join or organize a Bible study group with your friends. Studying the Bible with others is a great way to get accountability and direct your Bible reading.
Read Your Bible in the Morning
Many people find it easier to focus when they read their Bible first thing in the morning. There is nothing in the Bible that mandates this. Personally, reading my Bible before I do anything else helps me prioritize it. If I do something else first, I’ll probably forget to do it at all.
Some people have early mornings that don’t accommodate a quiet time. The most brutal fix is to wake up fifteen minutes earlier, but most of us won’t ever do that. When I have a busy morning, I read my Bible during breakfast. Since I’ve already carved out time for breakfast, I can easily use that time for quiet times as well.
Do your Homework Early
For the students, homework can be a nightmare for quiet times. It’s difficult to read your Bible when you have five assignments that you haven’t started due tomorrow. Even if you can edge in a quiet time, anxiety might keep you from focusing on God.
The solution is to start your homework early. You might be rolling your eyes, but hear me out. Doing your homework early might seem impossible, but it’s actually simple. When you get an assignment, start working on it. If you’re too busy, it’s fine to start the next day. The point is to start early.
You don’t have to finish the assignment that day. If you’re writing a paper, write a few points of your outline, or a single paragraph. The next day, do a little more. You’ll be surprised how much you can get done by doing a little every day.
Use an Audio Bible
You probably picture a “quiet time” as sitting quietly with a Bible and a cup of coffee. But a quiet time can look very different. You might use a Bible app more often than you use a physical Bible. Not only can we carry the Scriptures in our pockets, we can also listen to them as an audio Bible.
I usually don’t use an audio Bible, but for some people, using an audio Bible is a lifesaver. It allows them to have a quiet time while driving, or walking, or doing chores. Best of all, you can access an audio Bible for free. The Bible App has an audio option, and there are several devotional Bible podcasts available. These seem to be popular with audio-quiet-timers; my dad sometimes listens to one during his commute.
None of these tips are necessary for a healthy quiet time. Maybe that means that you set your alarm earlier. Maybe you read your Bible during breakfast. Maybe you listen to the Bible as you walk to class. What matters is that we find the time to meet with God. It is always worth it.
Sarah Howell is an eighteen-year-old, homeschooled deep thinker. She loves enjoying and creating beauty of all forms. She focuses on writing speculative fiction but also writes articles and blog posts. Throughout her teen years, Sarah has struggled with doubt and with trusting God with her life and her trials. This has taught her that struggling doesn’t make her any less worthy of love- “wilted is not worthless.” Her goal is to encourage other young women in the same struggles.