Thursday, November 07, 2013

"Regular Quiet Times"

After working at Camp for a little more than two and a half weeks this past summer, I told myself I wouldn't write a blog post, because that would make it pretty official that I only write blog posts after Camp, and I would know the real reason was because I don't reflect on life except when I'm forced and Camp forces me. Therefore, by not writing a blog post, I would solve the whole proble...wait no, that would not help at all. Hiding the symptoms doesn't cure anything. Of course, however, it remains true that I do not reflect unless I am encouraged to do so, and Camp played a role in bringing this post about.

"What has God been teaching you lately?"

I don't know. That's the first thing I always say, to give me time to think of an answer, and because it's usually true. Not that I don't ever learn things that I think God is teaching me, it happens, but not frequently. Now, I should say that part of me feels weird and suspicious of this question, like it has a false expectation that God will always be teaching me things, like I know that sort of thing about Him and his Activities. That qualm aside, the question ever reminds me that I am not consistent in "having a regular quiet time", "spending time with God", or whatever you want to call it.

This brings me back to the topic of Camp. Whenever I work at Camp, I get down to the Dining Hall for the daily staff meeting each morning fairly early, sometimes as much as a half hour before the meeting actually starts, and there I find a collection of my fellow counselors, many of whom are reading the Bible, or praying. This confirms that some people really do it; the regular morning quiet time is not a just a myth that everyone says is a good idea. But if it really is possible, why not me?

I used to think that this was because I was terrible at routines, but that's completely false, as I thrive on routines, both weekly and daily, and have been really getting into some lately. I come home from work, I eat hummus while reading a book, I lay in bed, maybe I do something else, I cook dinner, I read some internet, I plan some lessons or grade some assignments, I get tired, and I go to bed. That's a very routine evening for me and this, as well as other things, demonstrate that I certainly do do routines.

So what is it? Do I not care about the Bible? I don't think that's true. I lead a weekly Bible Study group, and I believe that God teaches me stuff through that (despite my lack of articulation at times, see: first half of the post), and through the sermons at church (though I'll admit that retention of sermon points has never been great here in my head), etc. As much as there are days when I doubt, days when I think "Oh Tim you don't actually care do you!"... later, I do. I used to think that if you didn't demonstrate a belief with your actions, it meant you didn't really believe it. I now think that while that's sometimes true, sometimes we are hypocritical for other reasons. We're not consistent, perfect people, and although we might want to be, spending too much time worrying about that in a puddle of angst doesn't really get you anywhere other than a rambling blog with a great title.


jim baker said...

good thoughts. i am constantly battling to actually value, what I say I value.

daily quiet times being one of those things.


Chet M. said...