The power of 15 minutes

When I was a young Christian, still in High School, I began my first Bible reading program.  It was fairly modest.  I got a schedule that listed Old and New Testament readings, that if followed, would traverse the entire Bible in one year.  It took about 15 minutes a day to carry out the reading plan.

It was extremely difficult to establish the daily habit of reading my Bible.  Every day it was a struggle.  By nature I was a lazy person, and doing anything every day, regardless of how limited the time, required discipline that I had never exercised before.

Eventually, after a few months, the habit was established.  A habit established is easier to maintain than it is to start.  There is a momentum that builds.

Since that time, there are other habits I have added to  the Bible reading program.  While it is always hard to get something new going, it is much easier than starting the initial habit.   This is because the pattern is already established, and the change (adding another 10 or 15 minutes) is incrementally not that significant.

After Bible reading for fifteen minutes, it is not that difficult to tack on 10 minutes of prayer.  Once you prayer for 10 minutes, it is not that difficult to add another five or 10 minutes.  And so on.

You may find it helpful, as I did, not to rush it.  We are in this battle for the long haul.  The long haul in this case may be years, not months.  Your quiet time may be multiple years at fifteen minutes before you are ready to bump it up to 30 minutes.  It may be years again at 30 minutes before you bump it up to an hour.

Initially the goal is to get the habit established.  Once it is established and you are enjoying daily fellowship with the Lord, you may eventually feel the hunger to increase the time of fellowship.  It is at these times it is best to plan your next revision of your quiet time.

If sometime, because of life’s circumstance, you need to cut back on the time spent, do what you need to do to manage your life.  However, never cut out the habit completely.  This will have the double consequences of cutting off the fellowship with the Lord that motivates you to spend the time with him, as well as raising the cost to restart the time.  It always takes more energy to start from a dead stop, then to merely increase momentum of a moving fellowship time with the Lord .


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