Oops, well, I didn’t get that done today, or yesterday….not sure how many times in the last couple of months that exact thing has happened. Anyone else with me?
Okay, so in reality I”m not really that worried about it, because despite my lack of “structure”, I have connected with God in really meaningful ways, and it could be that despite the guilt you’re feeling over not having your daily quiet time at exactly 7 am with a half hour of Bible study and hour of “prayer” that you’re pretty connected with him too.
Have you ever noticed that the people that write books about quiet time and Bible study are the people with personality types that really appreciate and foster that kind of structure? ESTJs and ESTPs seem to write alot of material along these lines. People like me, INFJs and INFPs, seem to write more books resembling Blue Like Jazz, those seemingly obtuse and abstract texts that can be life changing to some and absolutely nebulous to others. (Check out the Myers-Briggs personality assessment if you have no idea what I’m referring to.)
Fact is, I used to feel horribly guilty over the fact that I seemed to really connect with God throughout the day in ways other than a structured quiet time and Bible study. I can certainly get alot out of Bible study, and God speaks to me through it, but some of the times where I’ve felt closest to Him is when I’m driving down the road with the kids yelling in the backseat, listening to worship music. Sometimes while watching a movie, God will take a theme and really drive home a point to me. (Yes, truth can be found in secular movies. :) ). Finally, some of the sweetest times I’ve heard from God is when he directs me, by “coincidence” to a book that I needed to read at just that time with the answers I was seeking to certain questions.
It wasn’t until I started seeing a marriage and family therapist who has a wonderful relationship with Jesus did I start realizing that my way of connecting with God is just as valid and rich as the person who can sit in silence for hours studying and praying. She encouraged me that because God made our personalities in such a varied way, we can’t expect to all relate to him in exactly the same way.
This revelation has been liberating to me, and I can finally believe that my relationship with God is as authentic as that of the person who faithfully gets up and spends time with God in exactly the same place and at the same time each day. It has also freed me from the tendency to judge so much. In the past it used to drive me absolutely nuts when the worship on a Sunday at church seemed so amazing to me and Spirit-filled, while my husband would be indifferent about it. It’s not that he was being less spiritual than me….he usually got alot out of the sermons in a way that I didn’t always. God was simply reaching out to us differently through our different personalities.
So, if you’ve struggled with something similar, be encouraged. Having specific quiet time with the Lord is important, but don’t load yourself with guilt if your nature fights against the rigid structure of devotions that works well for some, but not all. Find the ways your feel closest to God, and hear his voice….broaden and deepen those areas of your life, and rejoice in the personality that God gave you, thanking Him for all the sweet, personal ways he reveals himself to you.
Seeking to fully live,