So there's no RML for four weeks. That means something wonderful. It means four weeks to start (or get back on board) habits we feel too tired, or too busy to work on during term. Habits like reading our Bible, meditating on what it says, and praying. What some Christians call having a ‘Quiet time', or a ‘Daily Devotional'.
Start a habit now, and keep it for a life time. Draw near with faith, hold fast the confession of our hope, and it'll help you keep going to the end (Hebrews 10: 19-23).
I've just been away with a bunch of old university Christian Union friends. I thought I'd ask them how their ‘quiet times' look now they've been a Christian for a while. Here's what I learned. Some have their ‘quiet time' at 6.15am, some in the evenings. Some grab the chance over breakfast or on the bus, some in a quiet afternoon moment with a cup of tea. And while we have some stuff in common, there's no such thing as normal.
We all read our Bibles:
Some read large chunks, some single verses. For lots of us it depends on our season of life. For me, single and flexible, I read through chapters of the Bible each day. For some, crying babies, mean reading a single verse is an achievement. Others, busy with working lives, follow daily devotional plans or books that range from getting them through the Bible in a year, to covering single Bible books chunk by chunk. But we all read the Bible.
We all think about what God has said:
Everyone I chatted to, was trying to think about what they'd read in God's word each day. New mums talked about how helpful simple devotionals were, doing some of the thinking for them. A friend, who rushes off to a busy job, tries to collect her thoughts into one sentence before she goes. I'm experimenting with journaling. Another friend knows he struggles with the pondering bit, so he's praying about it. Someone is memorising some Psalms, to consider through in the day. We're all trying to think about what the Bible is saying.
We all pray:
One friend talks about praying being the bit she always squeezes, so she's trying to read less and pray more. Others use prayer books, or cycle through regular prayers lists. I confess I spend most of my prayer time asking God to help me actually believe what I've read. It looks like lots of different things, but we're all trying to work on the habit of talking back to God, about what He's been saying to us.
So there's no such thing as normal. Except that it is normal for every Christian, to need to come away for a bit regularly, and consciously relate to our Father.
Why not get going on your own normal this Easter break?