In my experience as a Christian, I think I’ve experimented with every imaginable time for my personal devotions. When I was a student in college I would clear my desk at 10pm and hunker down for some time with God. I wasn’t too into the morning thing. Here’s some other options and configurations I’ve experimented with:
- Getting dressed and ready in the morning and then connecting with God before going to the office
- Going in to the office earlier than normal, and then spending time there
- Having a brief time in the morning and an extended time in the evening
- Going to work out first thing in the morning, then connecting, and then eating and getting dressed
Are there some other configurations out there? I’m sure there are. And I’m sure I’ve tried them all. Every single one. But none of them has worked in the long run for one reason or the other.
Here’s what has worked for me: spending time with God first thing in the morning at 6am.
Am I naturally a morning person? Absolutely not. In fact, I always tell people that I’m neither a morning person or a night person–yes, I’m that boring. I don’t like to go to sleep too late or get up too early. Is it because I think that the morning is somehow holier than the other hours? Nope. It’s actually quite simple and probably not the most spiritual reason, but here it is: 6am is the only time in which I can have uninterrupted time with God. My kids get up around 7:00-7:30am. If I don’t get my time in before that it’s all done. Sure, I could wait till later, and get in to the office earlier and then do it. But I’ve found that the temptation is too great to rush and jump in to the day.
So right now my schedule looks like this:
6am: Time with God
7am: Run or work out
8am: Breakfast with the family
9am: At the office
In the evening I’ll also have some time in which I spend personal time with God, but this is less structured.
I think the overall principle that we’ve always heard is that we should spend time with God when we’re at our best and most able to focus. Perhaps for some it may mean having this devotional time later in the day. And though I tend to agree with that statement, I’ve found, for myself, a difference in starting my day with God vs connecting later on in the day.
By the way, Michael Hyatt has a great post titled “Slay Your Dragons Before Breakfast” where he similarly shares about getting stuff done before breakfast.
Thoughts? What works for you?
[image by blue2likeyou]