By: Grace McCready
Beep! Beep! Beep!
As I hit the snooze button and rolled over in bed, I couldn’t help but feel like my alarm clock was becoming my arch enemy.
Why is it so difficult to get out of bed in the morning? As a college student, it feels essentially impossible. Too many times, I’ve simply ignored my alarm clock and given into my tiredness or apathy.
Of course, sleep is a wonderful thing. Our bodies definitely need physical rest. But it can quickly become an idol. So can sports, clubs, academics, jobs, family, friends, and boyfriends—especially during the college years.
As a college student myself, I know there are many things vying for my attention. If you are (or have been) a college student, I’m sure you can relate. But our main goal in college shouldn’t be to grow academically, athletically, or relationally. Rather, it should be to grow spiritually, which can happen through a regular quiet time. Perhaps these suggestions will help as you grow in your quiet time.
1. Pick a time that works well with your schedule.
I get it—finding even 15 minutes of spare time during the day can be a daunting challenge at college. But creating a routine makes that daunting challenge easier. Instead of hoping a slot of free time will randomly open up for your devotions, schedule a regular time to meet with Jesus.
And, as a reminder, there’s nothing sinful about having devotions in the afternoon, evening, or night instead of in the morning. If you have really early classes or simply aren’t a morning person, experiment with other times of the day. Jesus can be found in the morning, afternoon, evening, or night. He just wants us to seek Him.
“The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime; and His song will be with me in the night, a prayer to the God of my life” (Psalm 42:8 NASB).
2. Don’t complicate it.
The comparison game is real for us girls. And, unfortunately, we often end up comparing our quiet times. Perhaps a friend tells you about her new devotional journal, study Bible, hymn playlist, or Scripture memorization plan. Thus, rather than feeling ready to dig into the Word and share your heart with the Lord, you feel insecure and ill-equipped.
First, college is complicated enough without complicating our devotions. Second, the Christian life isn’t a competition. The only One we should be comparing ourselves to is Jesus Christ. And He never said that we need special resources to know Him.
“So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free’” (John 8:31-32 NASB).
3. Be gracious with yourself, as Christ is gracious with you.
It’s so, so easy to beat ourselves up about missing a quiet time. Like I mentioned earlier in this post, sometimes, I sleep in instead of doing my devotions. Or I try to accomplish a task when I would normally meet with Jesus. Sometimes, I simply feel unmotivated, so I skip my quiet time.
Yes, we should try to meet with Jesus daily. But when we don’t, we shouldn’t give into feelings of shame and self-hatred because they can discourage us from doing our quiet time tomorrow. So, rather than taking this approach, we should lean into the compassion of the Father when we neglect to be with Him.
“I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud and your sins like a heavy mist. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you” (Isaiah 44:22 NASB).
Dear friend, I recognize the challenges of spending time with Jesus. I understand your busyness, your tiredness, and even your apathy. But, as you’ve probably heard a million times, life doesn’t get easier or less hectic after college. Thus, setting aside a quiet time now is unbelievably valuable because it takes advantage of our growing years in college and creates a pattern for us to follow for life.
Grace McCready is a senior in college who is studying business administration and communications. She enjoys writing, spending time with her family, and hanging out with friends. Her passion is for young women to live transparently and thrive during their single years. She blogs about the Christian life at Tizzie’s Tidbits of Truth.