Let me get this out there first. There is nothing sacred about the morning time. I have heard pastors turn morning devotional times into a modern day legalism. If your best time for prayer, meditation, and scripture reading is at night or during your lunch hour, then do it then. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty about not starting your day in devotion.
For me, I have three kids and am a mental and spiritual weakling at the end of the day, so the quiet of the morning is just the right time for me to spend with God. I wish I didn’t have to get up so early but I am disappointed with myself if I don’t and always feel like something is missing from my day if I didn’t have a chance to pray, listen, and read.
This may be more detail than you would ever want to know but I wanted you to be able to compare your routine with someone else’s. You may notice that there is nothing remarkable about my routine and your time of prayer and scripture reading may be more thought out and productive than my 20-30 minutes.
One of my talents is consistency and I can say that I am able to maintain this schedule most days. I included other “mundane” aspects of my morning to give you a picture of what is all involved with one person’s morning. Often times, writers will describe what needs to be done for spiritual growth but never explain how you are supposed to fit that ambitious plan into other important aspects of the day.
I am constantly tinkering with my morning routine based on what is going on with me spiritually and what I feel is a priority for my growth life. The distractions are ever present and I succumb to Twitter and last night’s sports highlights more times than I care to mention but the goal is something like the following:
4:39 (4:59 on the Weekends or days I don’t go to work at 8): Alarm goes off. I hit snooze once and get up at 4:49.
5:00: Make some Green Tea. I drink this for health purposes but the ritual of it gets my mind flowing in a more organized fashion. As the Tea is brewing, I begin to pray over issues and concerns that are most pressing to me. Sometimes I walk laps around my house as I pray and sometime I kneel.
5:10: Meditation. As I have mentioned before, this practice is relatively new to me. I have a list of practices and brief meditation that I got from Richard Foster’s writing and I do one of these exercises a day.
5:20: Scripture Reading. I am not big on reading plans that are trying to get the reader to finish the Bible in a year. The Bible is too sacred and precious to turn it into a quantified jot chart. I will focus on 10-15 verses at a time or major groups of verses. I have recently read through the Song of Songs and some of the miracle stories of Jesus. Other recent focuses have been Psalms under 15 verses and the “I am” passages of John. Each reading is just short enough for me to spend a few extra minutes contemplating the passage and letting it sink in.
5:30: Writing. Since I started working on this blog, I have tried to spend 25- minutes a day writing or doing blog maintenance and development.
5:55: Work Out. I try to mix in running with strength and plyometric workouts.
6:20: Get Ready For Work
7:30: Drive to Work. I will either listen to Sports Talk Radio or an article I have saved in Pocket. They have a text-to-speech feature that will read articles to you. My usual reading list consists of sports, current events, library topics, or parenting.
The take away for you, I hope, is that you will see how you can tinker with your schedule to bring in more time for reading your Bible, praying, and thinking about God. You may have to start getting rid of some things or change some priorities. Don’t settle for a run of the mill approach to your day. Find a way to inject more of Christ into your schedule.