It flashed across my screen, this question about how to be closer to God when daily commitments are pulling and tugging at the seams of good intentions.
It flashed across my screen, this question about how to be closer to God when daily commitments are pulling and tugging at the seams of good intentions.I thought at first maybe it was a question meant for someone else, someone who dutifully spends an hour each morning reading and praying. But she meant it for me, a mother whose house is rarely quiet and whose life is anything but routine, so I prayed and began my answer. It starts with how we view time. It’s not a matter of carving out an hour to dedicate to God, it’s about realizing that every hour belongs to him. Every moment and every task. The nine minutes after you hit the snooze button and roll over in bed, the commute to work, the hours spent typing or tinkering, the 10 minutes spent folding each load of laundry. That’s his time, too. You pray in the shower. You tuck a devotional in your purse. You put a Bible on your bookcase at work. You read books about faith to your children and listen to spiritual music while you wash dishes. You watch the ordinary unfold before your eyes and you search for the extraordinary, the thread that leads you back to God and his handiwork. When you find God in those little moments, he becomes seamlessly part of your day. I also like the idea of praying at certain times of the day, something I’ve seen while visiting the Trappist monks at the Abbey of the Genesee. I imagine it stitches the hours together and steadies the life. One of the monks suggested that those of us outside of the monastery set alarms on our telephones and computers – that we use everyday objects to call us to prayer. And that pesky Ann Voskamp, a writer who makes it hard to splash around in shallow spiritual water, has been urging people to memorize scripture. I think secretly she’s talking to me. I fell out of the habit of memorizing scriptures back in middle school, and I hadn’t thought of it much until the author of “One Thousand Gifts” reminded us how important it is to commit words to memory, to heart. I’ll start my memorization work in January because this woman who asked the question, well, she’s not alone in wanting to be closer to God.
Marketta Gregory is a former religion reporter who now shares her own journey of faith with readers. She lives in Rochester, N.Y., with her husband, their three young boys and one very vocal Pomeranian. To contact Gregory, email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to her at P.O. Box 12923, Rochester, NY 14612. You can also visit the Simply Faithful page on Facebook and follow her on Twitter (@MarkettaGregory).