Here is a list of some things I am pretty terrible at:
- Getting out of bed
- Arts and crafts (Some of you girls out there with that artistic flare – I am in awe!)
- Ice Skating – I don’t really see the need to go around in circles, dangerously on ice?
- Crazy golf – but I love it and would go on a crazy golf date any day (Puttshack is my fav!)
- Being alone – I am a huge extrovert
Another thing I have on/off struggled with is sticking to a Bible plan! At the start of every year I grab my new notebook and pens, get my Bible app going and pick a plan from my ‘saved for later’ folder. ‘This will be the year I stick with it’ I say to myself, a month or two go by and I’m doing pretty well but then my number one ‘things I’m terrible at’ would kick in and I miss a day. This makes me feel like a complete failure, like I have let God down and that feeling would then make it so much harder for me to start the plan back up again.
What I have come to realise though is being a Christian isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ kind of thing. What works for one person, doesn’t work for another. We are all created uniquely and therefore we all work differently and have individual relationships with God. I don’t talk to my mum the same way that I talk to my best friend and my best friend doesn’t talk to her mum the same way I talk to my mum! So, why would we think we all speak the same way to God? He is a personal God and therefore speaks to us all in a way that fits our relationship.
It is so easy to think being a Christian means we must have it all together, to be perfect, but that’s just impossible – only Jesus was perfect – the Bible is full of imperfect people, who God chooses to use and speak with. Therefore, it is so much more important for us to say: ‘Hey God, here I am, a work in progress, use me as I am and where I am. I am sorry for when I get it wrong, please grow me more into who you have created me to be’.
Spending time with God shouldn’t feel like a chore; It shouldn’t feel like something that you need to get good marks in or clock up a certain number of hours a week for it to count. God just wants us to want to spend time with Him and when we choose to do this, He wants to reply and show us how much He loves us and the incredible things He has in store for us.
To finish, here are a few practical things which really help in spending more time reading the Bible, helping you see it isn’t about being perfect but about building a personal relationship.
- Quality not quantity – meditating on Scripture: Sometimes Bible plans have so much reading it’s hard to take it all in. So, follow them at your own pace, maybe this means it takes 2-3 days to do one plan day, but you will get so much more from it; letting it sink in deep instead of racing through it.
- Find a time and routine that works for you – I usually do mine in the evenings. I still try to do something short in a morning though… usually something I can watch or listen to; I really like the Bible app story of the day or 24/7 Prayer’s Lectio 365 app.
- Where? Create a special place just for prayer – I recently brought a cute new prayer chair (it is dalmatian patterned) and one of my friends puts blankets and cushions on the floor in a cosy corner. I would suggest make it somewhere you have to move to… even if this means your where is sitting the opposite end of your bed!