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I’ve heard my share of plugs for the latest “devotional.” I’ve heard speakers tell me that true followers of Jesus spend an hour in prayer every day. Some have said, “if you are not spending quality time in the Word every day, you cannot be growing.” Still others have said things like, “the secret to my marriage is that we pray together every day.” Most of them have just left me feeling guilty, inadequate or a bit off in my faith life.
I’ve had times when each of those things were part of my routine. I’ve had times when none of them were present. Christians like to call stretches of time “seasons.” So, I’ve had seasons.
To be honest, when I hear a speaker tell me about his “daily, personal, quiet time” I wonder if he’s telling the truth. I think, “Man, is anyone really like that?” Because I’m not, I assume no one is.
Saturday morning, while preparing for speaking Sunday morning, I put my earbuds in and hit the road on my hybrid bike. It was sunny and maybe 75 degrees. As I rode, God refreshed my soul. Sometimes I sang along, sometimes I prayed and sometimes I just took in the scenery rolling by. The stress I felt was swallowed up in an exercise adrenaline rush. It was a sweet quiet time despite not fitting into any of the formulas.
Some of my best quiet times of connecting with God have come on my bike or during a walk with camera gear on my back. I’ve had times I’ve listened to Scripture readings on my iPOD, times when I allow my mind to drift here and there and times of simple prayer. At other times I have been silent and refreshed.
I’m all for “My Daily Bread” and other devotional materials. They just don’t work for me. I’m finally learning, in this relationship with Jesus, that that’s okay with Him.