In American church life, usually through small groups or accountability partners, there has been more discussion, I think, centered on the quantity of our time spent in God’s Word rather than the quality of our time spent in God’s Word. “Did you get your quiet times in this week?” “How many times did you get into the Word this week?” Questions like these tend to more prevalent in the spiritual check-ups we give each other, and usually we are quite content if the report comes back with solid numbers, so we feel as though we don’t have to ask any further.
In his little ebook, My Friend, My Hero, My Dad, Stephen Altrogge asks a question in light of his father’s faithfulness to meet with God in his Word: “What sort of example are we setting for our children? Do they observe us spending unhurried time with the Lord?”
You don’t have to be a parent to benefit from what Altrogge is saying here. He asking a question about the quality of our time spent with God in his Word. Is it unhurried time? Whether or not you have kids, is your time spent with God un-rushed? This is a question I’ve never been asked, and I don’t think I’ve asked it either. Do we treat our time with God like those homework assignments we forgot to do in high school that we quickly threw together in homeroom before first period?
To get some perspective, I asked myself if I would ever rush through a date with my wife to get to the things in my day that felt more urgent. The answer quickly came. It’s not likely. Why? Because I cherish my wife and I want to communicate that to her. On a date with my wife, I intentionally try to slow things down. Let’s stroll from the car to the restaurant as we talk. We don’t have to leave right when the waiter brings the check. Let’s wait till the movie credits are completely finished. How about some dessert on the way home?
Dates are probably similar for many of you. You savor the time with your spouse instead of swallow it whole. And it’s not as if you’re chomping at the bit to get to the next thing because you deeply enjoy your spouse. So, it’s not hard to stroll and sit and take rabbit trails. When we hurry through our time with God in his Word, I think we have forgotten how enjoyable he truly is. We often meet with him for the experience of being done with it, so we don’t have to feel guilty about going on to the next thing on the list. We should meet with him to fellowship with him and draw near to him. If you have forgotten how enjoyable God truly is, then purpose today to sit with him for a while and let him speak to you through the words of Scripture as you read them slowly, taking in every word, sentence, and paragraph. Our holy God is one worth savoring.