BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP! 7:35? What? How is it…That can’t be right–I have to be at school in 20 minutes! Race to the bathroom, take care of business, whoa, is that my breath? Get minty-fresh with some speedy brushing, splash water on my face, throw hair into ponytail…time for make-up? NO! Pull on clean undies, sports bra, T-shirt, and sweats. Am I really already in slouch mode this early in the school year? No time to get cute! Grab backpack, Pop-Tart, bottle of juice, keys, out the door!
Sound familiar? Once the school year starts, gone are the days of hanging out in your pajamas half the morning, having a big, leisurely breakfast, and reading your Bible in the morning? Forget it! Your brain’s barely even awake enough for Algebra by the time you get to school, let alone God’s Word.
Seriously? That’s the best you’ve got? You’ll sit through an hour a day of English–reading what men and women have to say about the world, love, and life–but won’t take ten minutes to read what God has to say about those things? But I have to take English–it’s required! So is God 101, for those who are heaven-bound.
But let’s face it: between school, homework and sports and activities, you’re left with very little free time that you don’t want to turn your brain off for a few minutes. What’s a Christian girl to do? Make time.
Starting your day without the Bible is like trying to get to your classes, find your friends, and take notes in the dark. We live in a spirtually dark world, and the lamp to show the way is God’s Word (Psalm 119:105). Not only does God’s Word give light; it prepares us for each day’s spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:11-17). Make Bible study and prayer part of your getting-ready process, so that by the time you get to school, you’re more than just awake and dressed: you’re armed and ready.
Your morning Quiet Time should last between 10 and 30 minutes, and include three parts: Read, Pray, and Write. Here’s a sample Quiet Time schedule:
- Read 10-15 verses.
- Pray for understanding and application of what you’ve read. Spend a few minutes praising God and thanking Him for all your blessings.
- On a sticky note or index card, write down a verse from your reading, a couple key words of encouragement to yourself (like “Be strong!” or “Don’t worry!”), and specific prayers. See more about what to do with this note on #3 on the list below.
Now, here are some tips for how to work in your Quiet Time, and let that 10-30 minutes keep you strong and ready all day long:
- Bible with your breakfast: Okay, the key here is to actually sit down and eat breakfast. To have time to sit and eat, you’ve got to wake up when the alarm goes off the first time, and that can be tough. Get to bed in time to get your eight hours, and it’s a little easier.
- Read on the road: If a breakfast date with God doesn’t work out, take your Bible with you and read it on the way to school. I know this is often primetime for last-minute homework or studying, but try to get all that done before your head hits the pillow so you can have your morning Quiet Time. If you drive yourself to school, consider downloading an audio Bible to your iPod, or ask for the Bible on CD for your next birthday or Christmas.
- Sticky Note Scripture: A notebook is good for deep Bible study and notes at church, but for Quiet Time, I like sticky notes. That way you don’t have to open a special notebook to a certain page to see it; you can just glance wherever you stuck the note for an instant spiritual charge. Stick it wherever you’ll see it most: inside your locker door, in your planner, inside your binder, etc.
- Thank God for Mystery Meat: So maybe it’s not the most delicious meal in the world, but you can still bow your head and say a silent prayer before eating lunch at school. Just say, “Hang on a sec,” to your friends before saying your prayer. They’ll know what you’re doing, and they’ll respect it. That 10 seconds allows you to thank God, focus on heaven instead of the here-and-now, and show your faith to those around you.
- Start a prayer group: Ask a teacher if you and a couple Christian girlfriends can use the library or another quiet room inside during lunch maybe once a week. Make it a gossip-free zone, where only your concerns, struggles, and joys can be shared before a prayer, led by one of you, or done round-robin style. In addition to your meeting, you could send text prayer requests throughout the week.
So let’s warm up these message boards: how do you keep God in your busy school schedule? What results do you see in your life when you make time for Him before and during school?