I am coming to the realization that I know NOTHING about HOW to have a quiet time with God.
At first I wasn’t going to post about this. I was just going to write privately to two of my Christian girl friends and ask them for help, but then it occurred to me that I started this whole blog thing to track what’s going on in my head each day and well,…this is what is going on in my head today. It’s kind of embarrassing. I mean I grew up in the church for goodness sake! How can I not know how to have a quiet time?
Part of the problem is that I’ve been away from the church for a large chunk of my adulthood. Long enough to forget all the verses I memorized as a child in Christian school. Long enough to even forget some of the order of the books of the Bible! I’m not so far gone as to have forgotten if something is New or Old Testament, but it is rather embarrassing sometimes to be flipping about thinking “I KNOW that blasted book is in here SOMEWHERE!” while everyone else in a room has already located chapter and verse. I think it’s a hold-over from all those “sword drills” in grade school.
As I think back I realize that I have never had a quiet time. I was always involved in Sunday School classes and Bible studies, VBS and summer camps, and Christian school has endless Bible classes (not to mention scripture memorization), but I’ve never just studied God’s word ON MY OWN. By the time I was old enough for this to be a consideration I had drifted out of the church.
I want to study God’s word.
That phrase even kinda freaks me out. How do you STUDY God’s Word?
Is it like a term paper? do I need to get into word origins? Historical context? will there be a test? does it count as “studying God’s word” if I’m being directed by an author (like Beth Moore?) ? or is it supposed to be purely a reading of scriptures?
Would I get more out of maybe meditating on one verse at a time? Or will my mind just check out?
and how on earth does one go about FINDING all these meaningful verses that every other Christian woman seems to know? Oh how I SQUIRM when someone does the “now lets go around the room and everyone share their favorite verse!” thing. It’s almost like a Christian party game, and I can’t stand it! I was always more into Hymns than bible verses anyway. Which in most cases are sound scriptural truths just set to music. So my “out” in those situations was always to use my favorite hymn. Everyone in the room would love the “aww” factor and I could get away with no-one really knowing how little actual scripture I knew.
One other issue is my speed reading habit. I have a horrible time trying to slow down. If I’m reading anything more than a few sentences my unconscious goal becomes “get through it” there is a finish line and I want to get there. I can’t help it. I even do it with my favorite books. I’ll pick up some novel that I haven’t read in years, telling myself “this time I’m going to read EVERY word” and before three pages are done I’m speed reading. It’s strangely involuntary. (this btw is why I love reading stuff out-loud to my hubby. It FORCES me to slow down and read. every. single. word.)
I think I’ve settled on a plan. I think what I’m going to try to do is to take one verse a week and memorize it. Dwell on it and ask God to make it live for me.
But I don’t know how to go about finding good verses to start from. So I’d like suggestions from my blog-friends. Just one each to start with. If you had to give me just ONE verse to start on, which one would it be?