Reading: Matthew 14: 23 (Click to read text)
Reflection: A few weeks ago, our daily devotional reading focused on how to take time each day to spend it with God. I’m a big fan of daily devotional readings, as you can guess by my participation in this project. I also try to share with others why I think this practice is a good one. As we see in our verse from Matthew today, Jesus even took time to be alone, pray, and spend time with the Father.
Often, when trying new habits such as daily devotional time, we just need to have some discipline, and have someone hold us accountable, to make sure we are doing spiritual things each day. I think there are three good ways to do that. First, as mentioned already, is to set aside time each day for daily devotions. This resource is a good one. One of our summer staff members tells me he gets a new devotional book for each year, I believe as a Christmas gift. That’s a good idea, too. Second, I think that we need to spend time in retreat. Jesus modeled that for us in our passage today. It is good to “get away” for a day, several days, or just a few minutes. Space free from distractions and interruptions is important. Third, journaling is a good tool. Recording your innermost thoughts and feelings is important. Disciplining yourself to record these reflections on a regular basis can help you slow down and focus on your thoughts and emotions. Write down prayers and conversations with God or others. Go back and reread prior entries to see how you have grown.
Introverts will be much more comfortable with the processes outlined above than extroverts. If you find yourself impatient and want to move, just try to hang in there. Pray the kyrie repeatedly. Don’t criticize yourself for being restless. The Holy Spirit stirs!!
It is possible to include another person in your personal GROW time. You need to agree together about how the time is to be used, and you ought not to talk to each other during that time. It may be helpful to reflect together at the end of each period. The advantage of including another person is that you hold each other accountable.
Keep working at your daily devotional plan for 21 days. By then it should become a habit. Pray for God to give you the desire and the discipline to spend time with him each day. And, most importantly, don’t give up. Eventually you will discover the joys and blessings of your obedience. –Chad Hershberger, Camp Mount Luther Director
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