As the school year continues and we settle into our daily routines, we find that we’re able to manage our time a little better. Still, the stress from due dates and tests often messes this up and we begin to choose what to sacrifice.
Sleep and friends are usually cut, but so are daily devotions. In our busy lives, it can be easy to forget about daily devotions and believe that church and religion classes can make up for them.
Pastor Rich Carlson, the Vice President for Spiritual Life, gave some advice about starting and keeping daily devotions.
“Regularity is more important than quantity,” Pastor Rich says. Whether you’re starting daily devotions for the first time or trying to get back to them, it’s important to remember that it’s alright to take it slow.
He compared it to running a marathon: You can’t just decide to run twenty-six miles, but you can start by running one mile and working your way up. You can’t just plow through several chapters in the Bible, but you can start by focusing on one verse.
Spending an hour in devotions each day can feel overwhelming, but starting with two minutes makes the task seem more doable. It’s alright to start small. Taking two minutes to focus on a Bible verse can be a great way to begin. While most of us can’t start clearing an hour out of our schedule for devotions, we can find two minutes in the morning.
Pastor Rich suggested not reading straight through the Bible but instead reading it topically. Also, start with the New Testament, not the Old Testament.
While it may seem easy to start at Genesis 1:1 and read through all the stories, things start to slow down in Exodus and Leviticus, especially when you hit the chapters with seemingly endless rules. Using a paraphrased Bible can also be helpful in understanding the message without being intimidated by the language.
Pastor Rich reminds us that each relationship is unique, and that includes our relationship with God. “The purpose of devotions is to build a relationship with God,” he says. This allows for a lot of creativity in finding out what’s best for you.
Daily devotions don’t have to be sitting down and reading the Bible, they can be morning walks, writing poetry, or listening to music. There’s no correct way.
One last piece of advice Pastor Rich offered was to have a friend keep you accountable. He said that writing the Good Morning Union emails helped him stay faithful having daily devotions, and a friend can do the same for you.
Amanda MCarter is a junior studying biomedical science