Try this today (or tomorrow, if it’s late already when you’re reading this): Set aside a few extra minutes for your quiet time with God, and bring a pencil and paper, or whatever your favorite note-taking accessories may be. (Those who have spent a lot of time over the years talking with and listening to God will probably tell you that this is a good idea, anyway. You can jot down what God tells you, and record what you talk to God about, so that you can see how He replies later.)
For the first few minutes, though, don’t try to jump into your quiet time. Instead, jot down all of the thoughts that naturally run through your mind. What kinds of things compete for your quiet time?
- Are they chores or responsibilities? Make a list so that you can accomplish them efficiently.
- Are they good ideas? Jot them down so you don’t lose them.
- Are they relationships with others? Make a note to pray for them, whether that is a prayer of thanks for a good relationship, or a prayer for the opportunity to restore a relationship that’s a little rocky right now.
Once these thoughts are written down, they’re “safe” – you don’t have to continue to dwell on them while you’re talking with God. You don’t have to worry that you’ll forget something that occurred to you, or try to read the Bible while trying to hold onto that one good idea that you need to act upon later. You can even capture things you learn from God, and then – once writing them down – keep the conversation going with Him.
Now that you’re ready, spend some time with God. If He guides you to a particular Bible passage today, read that. If you’re not sure where to start, why not read Matthew 6:25-34, and remember that God takes care of you?
A version of this devotion originally appeared at fcccanton.com, as a Study Guide for the September 22, 2013 message, “Getting Rid of Ambient Noise”.