July 18 Devo
by Kirsten Walkup
If you're married you probably wake up each day with your spouse, you both scramble to get breakfast, get ready for work, get the kids off to school, and get to the office on time where you spend the day in the company of your co-workers and then you come home at night to a family who needs your attention or you socialize with friends or you come to church and then at the end of the day you fall asleep in a heap so that you can repeat the process tomorrow.
That's the way our lives are, and it probably won't change until you're ready to retire — but in the midst of this frenzied lifestyle we can learn to make time alone, and to make the most of our time alone.
Victor Frankl, who spent years in a Nazi concentration camp, wrote about this in his book Man's Search for Meaning. He said that the enforced community life of this type of prison caused prisoners to crave solitude—the chance to be alone with one's thoughts and experience a few moments of privacy.
He worked in the camp hospital in cramped conditions, but behind it was a small tent between some trees that was used a shelter for each day's corpses. Frankl would slip in there when he could and sit for a moment looking out at the green flowering slopes and the distant blue hills of the Bavarian landscape. He said, "Only the steps of the passing guards could rouse me from my dreams." These moments of silence and solitude kept Frankl centered, and, in a very real way, kept him sane.
Even in your busy schedule, you can squeeze out moments of solitude here and there. Maybe you can get up a few minutes before everyone else. Or stay up a few minutes later than everyone else. Or maybe you have time alone on the way to and from work. Or maybe you can have lunch alone. Or maybe you can slip into an empty room in the evening when everyone else is watching TV. With some effort you can make time alone, but you also need to make the most of your time alone.
In Run Baby Run, Nicky Cruz tells about meeting his wife in Bible college. The rules were extremely strict and didn't allow for dating and didn't give the students very much free time. In order to be together, Nicky and his wife, who were at the beginning stage of their courtship, volunteered to be on the kitchen clean-up team. Every night they had a special date, standing side by side at the kitchen sink, up to their elbows in dirty dishwater. This is how they nurtured their budding romance.
Do you remember how it was in high school? The bell would ring and it was time to switch classes, the halls would be packed with students and your girlfriend or boyfriend would meet you at your locker so that you could walk her to her next class. Those two or three minutes meant everything, didn't they? It made Geometry bearable, didn't it?
That's the habit we need to get into with God, seizing those opportunities throughout the day when we can have five minutes here, fifteen minutes there, alone with Him. And just like we would try to make the most of that "date" between classes, we need to learn to make the most of our moments alone with God. We do that like David said— "I have stilled and quieted my soul." In Psalm 46 God says...
Be still and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10)
Boss your heart this week to find time to get alone in the presence of God. You’ll be amazed at what even a few minutes communing with the Father can do!