“I’m too busy to.” This is perhaps the most common excuse used to brush off questions about why someone is not doing something. People are too busy to volunteer. People don’t have time for a relationship. People have too many things to do in their lives to get involved in their church. People just can’t fit family visits into their schedule.
While there are some things people can’t fit into their schedule, “I’m too busy” all too often means either “I don’t care enough about finding time” or “I’m too lazy to do that”. There is, of course, a difference between making time to volunteer a few hours a week when one person is, and finding time to be the primary music minister at church when someone’s family is new. welcome twins into the world. Some things, however, don’t require massive commitments but still get thrown into the “too busy to do” mental box. There should always be time for family members, even if it’s just a quick phone call twice a month. Christians should also make sure to integrate God into their lives. One of the most common ways for Christians to connect with God is through the scriptures. Spending time with the scriptures, however, is not something many Christians think they have the time to do. Many people have tried to read the Bible in just one year only to find that they were filling their schedule with other commitments and giving up the practice or losing interest in the middle of Deuteronomy.
Spending time with the scriptures, however, doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment. With a little creativity, Christians can immerse themselves in the Bible even during the busiest times of their lives. Here are five easy ways to spend more time with the scriptures.
Many people have a long commute to work each day. To spend a little more time with the scriptures, download a Bible audiobook. Then a person can listen to their Bible on the way to work, on the way home, or both. A person can either start with Genesis and continue through Revelation, or listen to the most appropriate passages for the time of year. The Gospel of Luke or the Book of Isaiah, after all, is more appropriate for Advent than Leviticus or Esther. Easter practically requires one of the Gospels. Midsummer, on the other hand, doesn’t fit so neatly into any particular story or book. A person can listen to anything, however, mixing the July heat with Numbers can be a good way to fall asleep in traffic.
Many people recommend creating a meaningful morning practice in order to start the day off right. That might mean five minutes of meditation, a contemplative walk around the block, or playing uplifting music while cooking breakfast. For Christians, a common component of a meaningful morning practice is prayer. Talking to God is a wonderful way to start the day, as is meditation, but mornings are also an easy place to spend time with the Bible.
Each morning choose a short scripture to read. Depending on the hustle and bustle of the mornings, this passage can range from two verses to an entire book. A person can either read their Bible in a quiet, deliberately constructed sacred space at home, or lean against the counter while the coffee brews. Obviously, a single young professional will likely have a different morning routine than a mother of four, but there are ways to fit the scriptures into both of their lives. Even a mother usually has a few minutes to herself before the children wake up, and it doesn’t take long to read a single verse.
After reading the scriptures, continue to focus on them throughout the day. For those who choose to select a verse at random, pay attention to how important that verse might be in the current circumstances. For those who skim through the entire Bible or a book from cover to cover, pay attention to the verse of the day. There is always a nugget of wisdom to be found. If the verse is all about genealogy, try to think about why these people were important. Did any of them know what their descendants would do? How were their lives? Keeping the focus on God can help even the most hectic mornings seem a little more peaceful, or at least help a person find the patience to keep the peace between bickering six-year-olds.
Bible study of two
Having someone to hold a person accountable is very important when trying to change their habits. Getting more involved in the scriptures is no different. To avoid putting the Bible down when it comes time to read the Numbers, form a miniature Bible study with a friend or spouse. Most people have time in their schedules for family and friends already, so spend a few minutes discussing what the two people have read. The two people can either read the same passages and see what they each thought about them, or choose passages that they feel are relevant to their lives and discuss why they chose those passages. These conversations can take place over text, during dinner, or before yoga class.
Verse of the day
Despite the many problems they can cause, smartphones can actually be a great way to spend more time with the scriptures. Sign up to receive a “Bible Verse of the Day” email and take a few minutes to meditate on the verse. Read the verse in the morning to get yourself in the right frame of mind for the day, or check emails during lunch to get you back on track. Most people check their email dozens of times throughout the day, so time for a Bible verse is already built into a person’s schedule.
Along with something else
Most people have times of the day when they are “busy”, but not really busy. Decent time spent cooking, after all, is waiting for water to boil, for a sauce to reduce, or for the oven to finish preheating. During these “empty bustle” times, open the Bible. Read a few verses as the soup thickens or the coffee soaks. For those who like to work out, bring a Bible to the gym and read it while walking on the treadmill instead of watching reality TV. Instead of scrolling through Facebook just one more time before bed, read a chapter of scripture. In addition to the spiritual benefits of focusing on God, reading a paper-and-ink book before bed can help with insomnia.
Integrating the scriptures into a busy life does not mean that a person has to restructure their entire schedule. You just have to take advantage of the time that already exists. Make the most of “empty busy time” and get your friends or family involved. Put aside the excuses and take the Bible instead.