Good Routines for a Fresh Start
Hello 2021! I think it is safe to say all of us are excited for the start of a new year. Many of us have spent an unprecedented amount of time at home this last year, with our calendars virtually (no pun intended) cleared of things to do. So why, despite having more free time than ever before, did I have days that left Jesus at the bottom of the list? I have no good reason, and the bottom line is this: you always have time for the things you put first. Jesus should be first. And the great news is making time for Jesus doesn’t have to be complicated! Here are three simple ways we can spend time with Jesus each day.
- Pray. In the morning before your feet hit the floor, at night before you fall asleep, and everywhere in between. This seems obvious, but sometimes we need a friendly reminder that God is always ready and willing to have a conversation with us. Thank him for the start of another day. Ask for help in that difficult meeting. Pray for wisdom on that test. Praise him for that promotion. Don’t make this complicated—fold your hands, join hands, close your eyes, leave them open, get on your knees, sit in a comfy chair, eloquent speech or a few simple words, speak aloud or quietly to yourself— the method is not what is important. What’s important is we take the time to be with God. By the time our son was three he was leading our dinner blessing. Why? Because we pray the same simple prayer every time we sit down to eat. We made it a part of our daily routine. And the simple, heartfelt prayers we speak anytime and anywhere, are probably the sweetest sounds to God’s ears. We all have blessings. We all have needs. We all need guidance. Let’s remember to take it all to God, our Father, who knows us best.
- Read God’s Word. The Bible is the story of God’s unconditional love for us. It is full of hope, wisdom, and guidance. It contains poetry, suspense, romance, good guys, bad guys, and miraculous events—just to name a few. There is something for all of us! It is not about where in the Bible we read—it’s about taking the time in our day to pause and allow God’s words to sink into our minds and hearts. If we are called to share the gospel with others, we must first take the time to read it ourselves. Keep your Bible out. Dive into His word. Commit a few verses to memory. Write out a verse and put it in your child’s lunch box. Post scripture in your home, in your car, at your desk—wherever you will see it and read it each day.
- Act like Jesus. Praying and reading scripture are part of this for sure, but let’s not forget showing compassion to a stranger, forgiving a loved one, listening to a friend who is struggling, teaching our children, and countless other examples of kindness are all ways we can act like Jesus. And let’s also remember this important fact: on the seventh day God rested (Genesis 2:2-3). Jesus, after feeding 5,000 people, took time away to pray and rest (Matthew 14:23). If the Creator and Savior of the world could find time in the midst of his to-do list to rest, so can we! Jesus knew the importance of rest. Follow his example.
Making time for Jesus everyday should be our first priority, not our last. Not as another item on our to-do list, not because we are “supposed to,” but because we desire to spend time with the person who gave his life for us. The person who loves us unconditionally and extends grace when we fall short. The person who thinks we are amazing and worthwhile.