Saturday, 15 October 2011

Making Time

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Ever since one of my Aunties gave me a children's daily picture bible around age nine, I have been hooked on spending a part of my early morning talking to God about life, the universe and - for the majority of the time, if I'm honest - little details of my day to day life. As a student, in almost complete control of how I managed my time, these sessions would sometimes leak into the late morning or even early afternoon. I'd realise that I had completely lost myself in the listen-talk-listen of being alone with God.

When I eventually joined the so-called 'real world', this little routine suffered a severe blow. The alarm would go off (several times) before I'd finally rush into the day with an 'oh no'. The absence of that little haven of reflection and revelation at the start of my days bothered me, even though I would still have snatches of conversation throughout the day - bringing my thoughts about this and that to God mentally, or out loud in a private moment.

I started to try and build dedicated time with God back into my day in all kinds of ways . I tried meditating on the bus, but eventually the early start, schoolchildren and mid-journey bus change all conspired to get the better of me. When I switched to driving to work, I camped out in the back seat of my car a couple of times during my lunch break. I succeeded in creating a private space for our time together, but felt anti-social and self-conscious with colleagues to-ing and fro-ing.

There seems to be something special about a 'morning meeting' - perhaps a symbolic giving of the whole day to God by beginning it with Him. The idiosyncratic poems of the shepherd-King and wanderer-warrior, David, set out a template for morning contemplation, and Jesus is often described as nipping out early for space to set the day in context. Even so, the days of snoozing the alarm until there was no time for anything more than a grunt of greeting to God accumulated.

The turning point has come from being more realistic. I don't have unlimited and flexible time in the morning. I personally find mornings the best time to be brutally honest, seeking out God's insight and enjoying the depth and breadth of His company. But in reality I've found God is always ready and willing to sit with me a while, and when I obsess and feel guilty about the rules of engagement I really miss the point. I've whittled my target time down from half an hour to just 15 precious minutes - as the habit grows maybe the time I set aside will expand too, but for now this is more achievable.

And above all, I've remembered what I'm making time for: being with Love and in Love. Now, that's worth getting out of bed for.

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