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THE JUNIOR pro basketball teams were practicing – boys on one end of the court and girls on the other. Watching from the bleachers, the sights took on deeper meaning the longer I looked.
The coaches were giving instructions, calling out over the thumping balls and chattering players. Some girls danced or played with their hair while distracted boys stared into space.
We, too, are often self-absorbed, stressed, and disconnected from our coach, failing to consult the game book daily for His wisdom and His game plan for our lives. To hear our coach takes concentration and focus and a daily commitment to practicing a time of quiet devotion and prayer. And no matter how little the time we can commit, the payout is a game-changer.
A few minutes with your favorite devotional can shape and influence the rest of your day. There are devotional series for everyone: busy moms, teens, men, families, couples, seniors— even one for dieters. There are devotionals dedicated to special seasons: The New Year, Easter, and Thanksgiving.
Devotionals are available online and through apps. Devotional books are available at bookstores, online, or at thrift stores. Classic devotionals have withstood time and trends and are great additions to your library.
A devotional may be the only thing you have time to read, or it may be a starter for deeper study. You can count on it to strengthen you for the day ahead, and it often influences your reactions to daily irritations.
This renewable resource multiplies its benefits. The more time, attention, and stillness you give, the more it infuses your spirit and spills out, blessing you, those around you, and its source, God.
When the time sparks a desire for going deeper, study tools are at your fingertips. Many are available for free online, offering the Bible in its various translations, commentaries, maps, dictionaries, cross-references, and videos.
Keeping a journal to note prayer requests, answers, insights, and daily recollections further imprints what you’ve learned upon your heart and creates a lasting record of your journey. Often, prayers are answered that we forgot we’d prayed. Finding evidence we were heard and answered, even in ways we didn’t expect, affirms God’s faithfulness and presence.
Practice improved the young basketball players’ game. Before the day demands our attention, the practice of quiet time prepares us to face the day in a strength that is greater than our own. Our perception of the world around us is transformed. Our spirits are renewed.
Are you practicing regular quiet time? Now is a great time to start – you won’t be disappointed, and God always shows up! -GN