Adrianne is a special young lady in my life. Scott was her youth pastor throughout high school and he was privileged to perform her wedding last August. Adrianne is the Multi-Media Specialist at the crisis pregnancy center where I volunteer. She has redesigned all the websites and also manages the social media component of the ministry. In addition to that role, Adrianne is helping lead the student-driven abstinence education program called Braveheart. Thanks, Age, for sharing your quiet time story!! ~ Teri Lynne
I became a Christian in 1999, when I was twelve years old. Like most middle schoolers, I was pretty clueless, especially when it came to my quiet time. From what I had gathered from all my friends at church, your quiet time was this special, ceremonial time of day (that usually lasted an hour or more!) where you got completely alone with God.
Our youth pastor gave us these devotional books to use in our quiet times, so then I FELT READY. That night I went to my bedroom, locked the door, and cleared out a space in the bottom of my closet. (Please pause for a moment and imagine me sitting there, clothes hanging above my head. It was not a large closet by any means.) I got my devotional book out, got out my Bible, turned on some great inspirational worship music, and got started. Unfortunately, I finished five minutes later. FIVE MINUTES!?! I thought this was supposed to last for hours! What did I do wrong? Was I a bad Christian?
I also gathered from my friends that they had quiet times every day. I assumed that they never missed a day. However, I didn’t seem to be that consistent. I would forget one day, oversleep the next day, and sometimes just not feel like it. What was wrong with me? Surely if I were a good Christian I wouldn’t do this! I felt like the only person who was having these problems.
Those experiences understandably caused a great deal of guilt to form up in me. I felt that because I couldn’t spend daily quiet time with God I was a terrible person. Every time I would forget a quiet time I felt more and more defeated. I felt so guilty that I couldn’t set aside time for the Savior of my life. So I would try even harder to have a quiet time, if only to avoid those feelings of guilt, of failure.
It took several years for this thought to occur to me: I was thinking about it the wrong way. God didn’t want my quiet time with Him to driven by guilt. The attitude with which I was approaching God was one of “OK, God. I don’t want to get in trouble with you, so here I am.” Gee, what a wonderful heart of worship I was presenting. I’ve come to realize that the motives that govern our desire to have a quiet time are extremely important. God wants our hearts to be hungry for Him, seeking Him, desperate to know Him. This concept has really set me free. I don’t have to feel guilty if I miss my daily quiet time because God’s GRACE covers my shortcomings. I simply need to focus on God and continue to seek Him. If I keep doing that, then having my quiet time won’t feel like a chore. It will become a NEED.