Study this Book of the Law continually.  Meditate on it day and night so you may be sure to obey all that is written in it.  Only then will you succeed.     – Joshua 1:8

I was leaving our house on my way to run errands.  Before turning on the radio I needed to pray.  I didn’t expect God to engage in discussion with me, but He did.  Our conversation went like this:

ME:  God, I need your help.  I have so much to do.  I’m behind on my studies for my class, so I have to get some reading done.  Righ now I have errands to run and then things to get done at home, not to mention that I need to study my Bible, too, and it all has to be done by 2:30 when I leave to pick Jackson up from school.  Please help me stay focused on the things I need to do and don’t let me get distracted by other things.  Please be with me to help me know what needs to be done today, and what can be done later, which things are important, and those that are not.  Please guide me and lead me through this day.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

Then, before I could turn the radio on, God responded.

GOD: Remember when you used to read your Bible as soon as you got Zach off to school? 

ME:  Yes.  As soon as he got on the school bus, I went straight to my Bible studies and read as much as I could before Jackson (Zach’s younger brother)woke up.  I usually had 20-30 minutes and got a lot done.  NOTHING interfered with that time.  Wow, it was 10 years ago when that started.

GOD:  You need to set time aside for your Bible and your studies like you did then, first thing each morning.

ME:  Yes, I do.  How did I let myself get away from that in recent years?

GOD:  You allow yourself to get distracted.  You have intentions of going straight to your Bible and then working on studies for your class, but then you start doing other things first and run out of time.  Then you have to hurry and cram study time in and don’t get to your Bible. 

ME:  (ashamed).  You’re right.

GOD:  What if you checked your Bible as often as you check your email? 

Whoa. That was convicting.  God had me.  Every time my phone chimes to indicate that an email has come in, I immediately check to see if it’s something I need to tend to.  If time goes by without a chime, I check to make sure I haven’t missed anything.  Then, as soon as I can, I go to my computer to follow up with the emails I received.    What if I was that devoted to checking my Bible ?  God was right.  I used to be more devoted.  Not only did I used to have a designated time for Bible study, I also went to my Bible as a reference Book for things that came up in my day.   Be assured that I still read my Bible, look up verses, etc., but not in a devoted way like I used to.  God was also right that I’ve allowed myself to be distracted from doing so.

As you might guess, I’ve committed to going back to my old ways of setting designated time aside for reading my Bible and doing work/studies for my class, and I do it as early as possible in my day, usually as soon as the boys leave for school.  I’m sure it’s no coincidence that the first passage I felt led to read after my conversation with God was the first chapter of Joshua.

Getting back to my old disciplines has been great!  I’m feeling less stressed and more blessed.  Praise be to God!

Dear God, Thank You for convicting me and pointing out the errors of my ways.  I’ve missed having dedicated time for reading the Bible and am ashamed that I let myself get away from that discipline.  I got away from making Bible time the first priority for each day.  It’s remained the highest priority, but not the first item on my daily to-do list.  Thank You for leading me back where I need to be, and for being a God who is with me in each day.  Thank You, too, for the teaching of Your words.  I truly believe what Joshua 1:8 says, that we will only succeed when we stay focused on the Book of the Law (Bible) and strive to obey God’s commands.  Praise be to You, oh God!   Amen.