3. 20 Minutes
We are nearly there, I hope you are still with me working through this 10 episode blog extravaganza!
In at number 3 is a routine and pattern called the 20 minute morning and night rule. It doesn’t need a huge amount of explanation as it is essentially suggesting that habit, routine and pattern is good for you in lots of ways. We know this, brushing your teeth morning and night is what we have always been told, er…cant think of many more.
Anyway, the point is a simple one, routine works! Pattern and disciplines in our lives are really important. So does any of that matter or carry weight in our lives as Christian men looking to grow our faith and relationship with God?
Yeah, I think it does, but with limitations. This is great for learning to play the spoons or something but is that really how we build a relationship? ‘Morning darling, I’ve got 20 minutes for you now then 20 this evening, outside of that, we don’t speak. Cheery bye.’
We can fall into a trap here too where we beat ourselves up because our everyday day bible reading scheme is still stuck on February’s reading. Perhaps you have been there, you want to read the Bible and prayer comes and goes but you still believe in God and feel a connection.
I think what can happen is that whilst this sort of 20 minute morning and evening pattern is helpful to some, it can also discourage and de-motivate others.
I was chatting to a mate recently about forgiveness, he said a great thing. Instead of intensifying forgiveness, focus on loving a person more, forgiveness will grow from that.
That works for me, and I think we can see a similar thing happening here. As I have made time for church, a conversation about God, a prayer as I am walking, a reading during my lunch time, send or receive and encouraging email or share a ‘Jesus’ conversation with someone I have noticed a change.
The change is that I want to read my bible, I want to pray more, I want to listen to worship music or sing the songs at church. This was not born out of beating myself up about a 20 minute ritual, it came from loving God more and putting people and situations around me further up the agenda.
I am not suggesting that we don’t nurture a quiet time, but I am suggesting this looks different for everyone and actually grows and forms uniquely. I would say that although disciple in prayer etc is important, we should look to rediscover and grow the relationship before setting a rigid timescale. Find ways to build the relationship and I think the discipline and devotion follows but without the intensity or guilt when you fail.
Image Credit: Veri Ivanova