Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. – Mark 1:35
I really appreciate a great cup of coffee. I certainly enjoy the caffeine boost it gives, but more than that, I love the taste of a well-brewed cup of coffee. My preferred method of coffee brewing is using a french press. I really enjoy the flavors you get from a quality coffee made in a french press. Combining that great cup of coffee with my devotional time is a just little bit of heaven breaking into my life each day.
Unfortunately, like most people, I’m busy and I rarely take the time that I should make a cup of coffee that I know that I am going to love. Instead, I take the easier path and use a Keurig to make my coffee most mornings. It makes a passable cup of coffee be regardless of the brand I use, it doesn’t compare to the taste I get when I put the time and the effort into using the french press. In my mind, the french press cup of coffee is objectively better, but I take the easier and quicker path to something less than for convenience sake.
I do this with my relationship to God sometimes as well. I know it will be better, in the long run, to spend a significant chunk of time in scripture reading and prayer to start my day. I know that starting my day in God’s presence is important, but I will sometimes sacrifice quality time at the altar of expediency. I’ll read a few verses, say a quick prayer and before I’ve had to time for a meaningful moment in God’s presence, I’ve already moved on to the next task for the day.
I’m not interested in arguing for a set period of time for scripture reading and prayer every day. I’ve always found that putting a specific amount of devotional time leans toward being legalistic. I am much more concerned with the quality of time spent in pursuing God’s presence. Sometimes I can have quality time with God in 10 minutes. Other days it could be 30 minutes. The time spent isn’t the point. The sacrifice of quality is the larger issue in my mind.
I’m advocating that we put our all into the time we set aside for God. Crafting a great cup of coffee and drinking it can be a beautiful experience. It really doesn’t take all that long to do it. It is also typically a better all-around experience than when we take a quicker path. A cup of coffee from a Keurig can be a perfectly fine experience, but it isn’t the best experience that I can have. I’ve tasted better. I know it, and still, I frequently settle for the lesser experience.
We shouldn’t do that with our coffee and we shouldn’t do with that God. We should strive for a beautiful, quality experience with God every day. A quick read of the Bible and a quick prayer can be a fine experience, but if we want to grow in our faith, we need to be intentional about our quality time with God.
Questions for Reflection:
- How is the quality of your time alone with God each day?
- Are you confident that you are giving your best to God in your time with him?
- What are some ways that you can be intentional in crafting a better quality experience in your devotional time each day?