ARMaking Time for GodMaking time for God could mean the difference between being a stressed-out student and being a successful and peaceful Christian student. The choice and the time are yours.In this fast-paced society, seeking God seems like the last thing on our minds. However, Elaine Shek tells about the importance of keeping God in our lives, not only for this life but also for the one to come. Along with methods of making time for God, Elaine shows how it could mean the difference between being a stressed-out student and being a successful and peaceful Christian student. The choice and the time are yours.
It's 3 p.m. on Friday.
Liz has just finished a full day of classes, and she rushes back to her
dormitory to pick up her gear for swim practice. After swim practice, she
grabs a bite to eat before preparing for her religious education lesson
tomorrow. Bible study is at 7:30 p.m., but she is nowhere near ready to
teach her lesson. Perhaps she'll skip Bible study tonight...
It's now midnight, and
Liz has managed to complete her preparation for tomorrow's lesson, but she's
missed Bible study in the process. Exhausted, she gets down on her knees,
mumbles a few words of thanks, and climbs into bed. She notices her Bible
lying on the nightstand and decides that she'll read it tomorrow. After all,
it is the Sabbath, and she'll be spending most of the day at church.
How many of us can
relate to a situation like this? Many times, we feel that there isn't enough
time in the day to get everything done. Time—it is something we all
treasure, something we wish we had more of, but it just seems to slip so
quickly through our fingers.
As students, we are
often burdened with so much work that we tend to let go of things that are
vital to our well-being: God and our faith. How many times have we pushed
God away because of our busy schedules? How many times have we missed
services because we had to write a paper? How many times have we rushed off
to school without first giving thanks to God for another day to live and
just mumbled a few words of thanks seconds before jumping into bed?
When we follow such a
busy and hectic lifestyle, it is no wonder that God is often left out. We
have lectures to attend, papers to write, and exams to take. How are we
supposed to put it all together and find time for God in our busy lives?
This article will
address the importance of making time for God, how to do so, and the results
of making time for God.
Why Make Time for God?
To everything there is
A time for every purpose under heaven. (Eccl 3:1)
According to the words
of wise King Solomon, there is a time for everything: a time to study and a
time to play, a time to learn worldly knowledge and a time to gain spiritual
wisdom. But it is up to us to set out that time, to use our time wisely and
devote part of it to God.
Imagine that, week in
and week out, our days begin at 8 a.m. and end at 12 a.m., with no time to
talk to God except for a few seconds before bed. What would our faith and
our relationship with God be like? It would probably be weak, if not
nonexistent. Like any other relationship, we need to spend time with God in
order to develop a closer and more personal relationship with Him.
In addition, setting
aside time for God allows us to keep sight of what is important—our ultimate
destination of the heavenly kingdom. Our faith has a direct impact on
whether or not we can enter heaven—and this is definitely worth making time
for. Spending time with God not only impacts our ultimate goal, but it also
makes a great difference in our daily lives. The following poem entitled
"The Difference" illustrates how important it is for us to come
into God's presence daily in order to gain strength and peace from Him. The
busier we are and the larger our tasks, the more important it is to pray to
I got up early one
And rushed through the day;
I had so much to accomplish,
That I didn't have time to pray.
tumbled about me,
And heavier came each task;
"Why doesn't God help me?" I wondered,
He answered, "You didn't ask."
I wanted to see joy
But the day toiled on gray and bleak;
I wondered why God didn't show me,
He said, "But you didn't seek."
I tried to come into
I tried every key in the lock;
God gently and lovingly chided,
"My child, you didn't knock."
I woke up early this
And paused before starting the day;
I had so much to accomplish,
That I had to take time to pray.
How to Schedule God in Our Lives
Make an Appointment with the Lord
A good way to put God in our lives is to make an appointment with Him each
day. We should examine our lives and determine when the best time is for us
to communicate with Him and to meditate on His words. For King David, it was
in the morning and in the evening:
O God, You are my God:
Early will I seek You... (Ps 63:1)
When I remember You on
I meditate on You in the night
watches. (Ps 63:6)
In the morning, before
we start our busy day, we can thank God for giving us another day to live,
ask Him for guidance and protection, and ask for His help to make the day a
fruitful and God-pleasing one. In the evening, before bed, we can review our
day with the Lord, thank Him for the guidance and protection He gave us, and
reflect on issues we encountered during the day.
Offer the Best Time in Your Day
For some people, morning and evening meetings with God may not work. The
morning may be too early—we're tired and grouchy, and it's hard to kneel
down to pray. At night, we may be too tired after a long day's work, and all
we want to do is just climb into bed.
We need to choose a time when we're not too tired and when our mind is clear
to offer our best to Him. Just as Abel offered the best of his flock to the
Lord, we need to offer the best time of our day to the Lord.
I finally managed to figure out the best routine for myself by my second
year of university. Although I prayed morning and evening, they were usually
short prayers. I felt that I needed to find a better time when I could
really pray in-depth and meditate on the words of God.
I discovered that the best time for me was around 8 p.m. I studied and at
dinner, and then it was time for God. Even if I was working on a paper, I
would drop everything and give an hour to God. During that time, I would
sing hymns, read the Bible, and then end with a prayer. It was time well
spent, and I truly treasured it.
Results of Making Time for God
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these
things shall be added to you. (Mt 6:33)
Once we place God first, we will experience an immense difference in our
lives. I noticed that when I made time for God by scheduling a period of
time with Him each evening, I always completed my work within a shorter
amount of time. I would often receive inspiration from Him when I was stuck
on a paper.
Moreover, the time that I set out for God also became a stress reliever for
me. For that hour, I would forget about my studies and concentrate on the
Lord. Amazingly, during the most stressful days, the lyrics of a hymn or a
Bible verse would always touch me and lift my burdens. I truly felt immense
peace and joy in my heart during those times. During my final year of
university, whenever I was completely overwhelmed with work, God provided me
with the sanity I needed.
Jesus encourages us in Matthew 11:28-30:
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and My burden is
I encourage you to give it a try, even if you can only afford to give up
twenty minutes. Use that time to meditate on His words and to tell Him what
a stressful day you've had. You'll definitely feel the difference in your
life. As long as we put God first in our lives, we truly don't have to worry
about anything—everything will fall nicely into place.
The world around us is
always trying to invent novel ways to get things done more quickly—from fast
food to instant messaging. In such a fast-paced society, seeking God seems
like the last thing on our minds. However, making time for God could mean
the difference between being a stressed-out, harried student and being a
successful, peaceful Christian student. The choice and the time are yours.
"On Campus" seeks to support and inspire an active faith among our
youth through candid discussion and exploration of the many challenges
facing Christians on campus. Please send comments on this article or
questions about student life to firstname.lastname@example.org.