Acts 17:27-28

The assignment was simple, but I couldn’t help but cringe a little on the inside. A week-long “habit audit.” 

Straight away, I was anticipating that this tedious task my small group leader assigned would be a waste of time. 

The point of the habit audit is to help you see how much time you actually have—even if you feel really busy. It’s supposed to leave you feeling convicted and inspired to schedule more time with God in your newly discovered margins in order to grow closer to him.

But the truth is, I know I’m not all that busy during this season of life. In addition to the half hour I already carve out for daily reading, prayer and study, I could easily be spending at least another 45 minutes a day reading my Bible—twice that some days if I got a little creative.

I definitely want to keep growing closer to God. I’ve experienced that navigating the joys and struggles in this life is way better with his peace, guidance and wisdom, as well as a community of other people who love him and constantly remind me of his goodness. 

When Scheduled “God Time” Doesn’t Work

The problem is, scheduled “God time” doesn’t always leave me feeling any closer to God. My habit audit didn’t convince me that setting up even more time blocks would be the magic answer.

But something I read recently has helped me uncover part of what a better solution to drawing closer to God might be.

When Paul, a prominent missionary in the early church, was introducing the gospel to a group of philosophers, he described how God made the whole world and everything in it. He spoke of how every created thing has life and breath because God gave it to them (v. 25). His speech continued with these words, 

“He [God] is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:27-28).

When I consider my life, I wonder how it might reflect those truths: that it is in God that I live. It is in God that I move. It is in God that I sleep, wake, go to work, eat food, talk with my friends, and have my very existence.

On a practical level, I think this means that—though all good things—my time with God doesn’t have to be limited to just a half hour each morning, a quick afternoon prayer, a sleepy bedtime thought, or other “scheduled” time-blocks.

I want to have God time all the time—I want to meet him in the everyday moments that make up 90% of my life. Because in him, I have my being—my whole being. My entire life (not just the dedicated time I carve out) is sustained by him, a gift from him, and an opportunity to grow closer to him.

A New Way to Meet with God

As I’ve reflected back on my “habit-audit,” I’ve felt challenged to consider the opportunities I have to invite God into all of the things I do on any given day. And it’s actually getting me really excited about approaching my schedule with this new potential!

Next time I go to press “play” on my current favorite historical fiction audio book, I can praise God for the gift of stories. I can recognize that we’re designed to crave story because ultimately, the good news about Jesus is a really big, really grand story that God has invited us to be shaped by. 

When I meet up with a friend who is going through a tough time, I can pause to consider how God is present even in the midst of her pain, and pray for his wisdom to listen well, ask good questions, and invite the Holy Spirit to remind her of his loving presence through me. 

As I’m baking up my third batch of newly mastered macrons, I can slow down enough to be in awe at the actual miracle that’s happening before my eyes as I finally get the right consistency for the most finicky batter I’ve ever worked with. And I can thank God for choosing to give us so many complex ingredients, flavors, and textures as a gift to explore and enjoy. 

How God Time Stops Being a Burden

Starting to dream about all of the ways God is already very present in my day-to-day life is so freeing to me. Instead of feeling a burden to add more “God time” to my schedule, it makes me excited to spend my entire day with him—in prayer, in the Bible, and in everything else, too. 

There are plenty of evenings where I flop down on my pillow and realize I haven’t been doing a very good job of inviting God into my life that day. I have long stretches where I push through from task to task without giving God much thought. Even then, I sense God’s loving grace reminding me that even though I didn’t realize it, he was still with me. But at the end of the days where I’ve just pushed through, I’m starting to recognize that I long for the other kind of days. 

The days when I did slow down enough to invite God in, and he helped me see tasks like laundry and answering emails as opportunities to serve others. Or when he prompted me to spend time getting to the root of a snippy response or sour attitude, and I was able to uncover another area where he wants to heal me from past hurts. And I’m encouraged that every day is another chance to invite him in.

It’s a huge relief to be reminded that God isn’t something I add to my balancing list of priorities. He’s actually the very Creator who has made all things, and designed them in a way that naturally points our hearts to praising him, knowing him, and being in relationship with him. Our part is just to take up the invitation that’s waiting in every moment. 

A Prayer for Today

Creator God, who took what was formless and void and gave it shape and meaning. The One who filled emptiness with beauty and gave all creatures their purpose. Reclaim today and these small seemingly insignificant moments. Help me discover meaning in the mundane. Ordain the very ordinariness of these tasks or my current lack of them for your glory, the good of the world, and my good. Amen.