January is resolution time. Yet, most of the time I drift back to old habits quickly. My word of the year and diet plan are buried under a mountain of clutter on my desk. I begin to despair that this year will not be any different than last year.
As a Christ follower, I might be missing the point. I never change myself by myself. Jesus changes me through a mysterious process that involves the Holy Spirit, His Word, other believers and me.
So what if I spent more time on decluttering my time with the Lord so I can participate in the changes He has in store for me this year?
These tips don’t promise a stellar, earth-shattering daily encounter with the Living God.
Most relationships thrive on the patterns we build daily.
I create a space where we can meet by sweeping out the things that distract from my time with God.
- Don’t Go Solo
It feels like more work to invite others into time I think of as “personal.” But when I read the Gospels, I see that following Jesus is a communal affair. This year, I want to think about how I can do it together, with others.
Maybe I’ll spearhead a weekly coffee shop rendezvous or incorporate prayer on walks with a neighbor.
- Silence the Phone
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve picked up my phone to write a note and drifted into the Facebook-sphere. This year, I want to start silencing my phone, even putting it out of arm’s reach so I can focus.
- Prepare a Time and Place
My ritual is enjoying a cup of coffee in the early morning before the day gets started. I flatten the same space in the same chair most mornings, except for Saturday, when I stay in bed with my Bible as long as life allows.
Preparing a place with everything I need: pen, Bible, journal, notepad, iPod, means I’m not using my time looking for things.
- Corral the To-Do List
I get the best ideas or remember important things during my time with God.
Instead of feeling guilty for an interrupting thought and then obsessing over trying to dispel it from my mind, I’m going to try writing them down on paper.
Usually the things on my list feel like the most pressing and stressful things in my life. Why not pray for them?
- Develop a Habit
A habit is formed out of repetitive actions that become second nature. I’m going to program my phone’s alarm to repeat daily for the time I want to meet with the Lord. My biggest choice then ends up being whether to tap out or swipe into a habit.
Maybe you’re not the resolution type, but consider joining me in 2015 to establish daily, Christ-centered patterns.
More resources on what to study in your time with God: