Day 4 of the 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life offers a challenge to spend the first 15 minutes of your day connecting with God. This suggestion is easy to resist. It might even illicit a scoff or two.
Why, when it is so full of benefits? Newberry asks the question, “If you had an entrée to the wisest human being alive today and he offered to coach you every day, would you accept the offer?” Personally, I would probably decline because of a fear of what this guy must charge, but all God asks is for your time. In return for your 15-minute investment He offers joy, insight, renewal and peace of mind (p. 20).
I can attest this is true. I began a morning journaling ritual in 2008 and it has become the most important and cherished time not only of my day, but of my life. I often describe the exchange as bringing Jesus a bagful of my jumbled thoughts, like gold chains, tangled and knotted into frustrating bundles. I pour out the bag of thoughts and He patiently untangles them, unties the knots and lays them out in straight beautiful rows. Problems resolved. Relief sighed. Too bad I often thank Him, grab up the chains, throw them back into the bag where they mysteriously entwine themselves again. My God will be faithful to repeat the process tomorrow. How patient He is.
Newberry and I can tell you how priceless this exercise is for living a joy-filled life, but only you can make the decision to do it. Remember as the wise Jedi Master, Yoda, once said, “There is no try; only do or do not.”
Maybe you don’t know what to do with that 15 minutes. If you’re stumped, the author offers some suggestions. You can purchase the book on Amazon at this non-affiliate link for more information on his ideas: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1414366906/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_maOvEbHBYV97Z. I would say to start with a devotional book you like. I was given a copy of Jesus Calling by Sarah Young (https://www.amazon.com/dp/1591451884/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_1YQwEb70M1SN7) and worked through it as part of my quiet time for several years. I journaled lines from the book that resonated with me and wrote out each scripture. I like the version that required you to look up the scriptures because once in the Word, it was easy to read the context and to check other versions on my YouVersion phone app. Often as I wrote, I heard God speak new insights and I would journal them as well. Every year it was fresh and new and pertinent to my circumstances. I started a quiet time years ago with a 7-minute devotional. Here is a link to a similar one http://hgbbc.com/wp-content/uploads/7-Minutes-With-God.pdf that might be helpful. Give Him whatever time you have. He will gladly meet you.
It’s important to have a plan to make it happen. Newberry suggests you get organized the night before so you know the place and agenda and have the things you need, especially coffee! Nothing good happens in your life without a definite plan.
It may be hard to get started and there are a million excuses not to do this, but I guarantee it will be worth it.
How can you incorporate God into your first 15 each day? If you do this already, what has been the pay off for you?