The house is still, my bed so cozy, and the sun’s first rays are only just now reflecting on the Colorado foothills a few miles away.
Even though the drowsiness of sleep lingers, already I can hear the notes of the song that calls out to me every morning. It is my wake- up call, and before I even realize it, I am quietly exiting my bed to start my morning routine.
I slide on my slippers, feel my way through the darkness to the hallway, and shuffle quietly to the kitchen, headed straight for the teakettle. It, too, is slow to get started at this early morning hour, so while I wait for the water to boil, I gaze out the window and through the pine trees to see the glow of sunlight gaining strength on the mountainside.
Tiptoeing to the library with my prepared cup of tea, I flip on the light, sink into my overstuffed chair, and bury myself in the warm, familiar blanket that remains faithfully draped over the couch during the cold winter months. Leaning over, I select several items from my book basket, including my Bible.
Everything is ready now. As I take that first nourishing sip of strong English tea, I prepare to enter into conversation, petition, and reflection with the Lord of the universe.
Spending focused time with God on a daily basis is not always easy. Some days it almost feels impossible. But I’ve learned that what I draw from the well of His goodness in those quiet, unseen moments will do more than just quench my need. It will also be available for me to provide for the spiritually thirsty I encounter along the way.
The river of God’s goodness will flow through me and nourish all who cross my path. My investment in our time together will pay off in my words, my actions, my faith, and my values.
One of my sons enjoyed reading Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers:
The Story of Success (2008), which examines how and why certain high achievers achieve greatness. One concept that was particularly invigorating for my son was the notion that it takes around ten thousand hours of practicing a skill for one to gain expertise. After explaining the concept to me, he pondered out loud, “Mom, I bet you have spent at least ten thousand hours in the Word of God. That makes you an expert in the Bible.”
“I’m not an expert by any means,” I protested. Yet when we added up my probable time spent in Scripture and prayer during all those morning quiet times, even allowing for significant time off each year, we came up with a number well beyond ten thousand hours.
It didn’t happen all at once, of course. I racked up those hours slowly, morning by morning. Even as a magnificent mansion is built one brick at a time, so ten thousand hours come one hour at a time.
Having a morning devotional time was a practice that I was taught as a young college student. And so by the time I got married and had children, it had already become a life habit.
I still don’t know if I’m a Bible expert. But I do know that those hours invested over the years have given me a constant stream of Scripture at my command. Certain verses surprise me all the time by occurring to me at needed moments throughout the day.
Choose today to begin or continue to build that heritage of faith in your children. Begin by having quiet times with them and then as they get older they can have their own, special time with the Lord.