Having A Dinner Party?
I’ve discovered having a successful Quiet Time is a lot like having a dinner party. To have a successful dinner party, you’ve got to plan well. I do that by asking myself several questions. Who will I invite to the party? What will be the main course? What will I use for a table decoration? Will I use the good china or my everyday dishes?
It’s the same with having a daily devotional time. I have to plan for a successful outcome by asking some pertinent questions. What version of the Bible will I use? Will I read the Bible through this year or study one book at a time? Will I record my thoughts in a journal? What’s the best time for me to be alone with God?
I seldom have a party without something unexpected happening. There might be a quick solution to the problem, like making a fast trip to the grocery store when the ice maker stops working. Sometimes, however, there is no easy solution, and things just don’t turn out the way you’d hoped, although your guests will probably not notice when things go wrong.
You need to expect the unexpected during your Quiet Time too. There will be days when the telephone rings, the dog needs to go out, or the kids wake up early. At those times, you might be able to resume your appointment with the Lord. On the other hand, some interruptions don’t have quick solutions, and your daily devotional time may seem like a failure, although I doubt the Lord will ever feel your time with Him is ever a failure.
My most enjoyable dinner parties aren’t necessarily those rare ones where everything turns out beautifully. Instead, it’s the one where I forgot to make the gravy because I was hearing about my friend’s hurt feelings or the one where I decided to stop looking for the wooden salad bowl so I could hear a funny story from someone who never tells funny stories.
Having an enjoyable daily Quiet Time may not always involve high moments of ecstatic wonder or theological insight. A pleasing time with the Lord may be consumed with painful confessions or heartbreaking requests. Yet, in the end, the real reason for having a Quiet Time, like the real reason for the dinner party, is to set aside time in your day for sharing yourself with a friend.
Complimentary words from guests as they leave your home when the party’s over are always nice to hear. But, listen to these complimentary words from the writer of Psalm 119 after spending time with the Lord, “How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103)
Make 2013 the year you followed through on your commitment to have a daily Quiet Time. I think I’ll try to have a few more dinner parties too!