No Time for Jesus
It’s a simple pattern, really. During the school year, you promise that you’ll take Sundays off from school to go to church and spend time with God, but what happens? Tests, homework and all of the sudden you’re swamped during midterm season and you feel guilty because you haven’t even touched your Bible. Well, in the summer, you’ll do a better job.
Summer rolls around and as a broke college student, you’re working 40+ hours a week, finally working out again, (hopefully) getting eight hours of sleep, catching up with friends, and guess what…still no Jesus. You promise you’ll get better when the school year starts up again. And read the first paragraph again and you’ll discover the pattern I’m seeing among people.
You promise you’ll get better when you become less busy and for some reason, it feels as if you get busier every year. “I’ll get better at reading my Bible after college” becomes “I’ll get better when I get used to my work schedule” to “I’ll get better once I’m married” to “I’ll get better once my kids get in school”, to whatever else happens in this life.
It begs the question: How do we make time for Jesus when it feels like life doesn’t slow down? How do we make time for Jesus as students? How do we make time for Jesus when we’re involved in these campus clubs? How do we make time for Jesus when we’re working 20+ hours a week? How do I make time for Jesus and, well…you complete the sentence. What’s preventing you from spending time with the one God of Heaven and earth?
The Secret to Spending Time with Jesus
I know the answer. The reason why you’re too busy for God is because you aren’t truly prioritizing Him the way the Bible calls us to. That’s a bold statement coming from me. Feel convinced yet, Christian? Keep reading.
The Bible continuously makes it clear that we need to put God first. Don’t believe me, read it yourself:
- Matthew 6:33 – “Seek first the kingdom of God…”
- Matthew 22:37-40 – “Love the Lord with all your heart…”
- Exodus 20:3 – “No other gods… (and a god can be considered something like school)
- Other verses
Here’s an additional article about what the Bible says about time management.
The reason why you don’t have time for God is because you aren’t making Him enough of a priority. I can say that because I did that for essentially my entire life up until the last couple years.
This doesn’t mean you drop everything else and read your Bible all day and all week. This does mean though that if He is the Lord of your life and you want to spend more time with Him, you got to stop using the “I don’t have enough time” excuse. You got to stop that. You do have enough time if you prioritize it.
A simple example: You have enough time to turn in your homework because you prioritize it enough. Even if you just barely have enough time.
How do I make God a priority then?
It’s easier said than done, but it’s about switching your priorities around. We can’t have more than 24 hours in a day and I would argue that even if our days were 30 hours, we would still run into the same problem. Again, I believe that we fall short because we have an issue with our priorities, not how much time we have in a day. We have some control over what we prioritize. I say “some” because there are things we absolutely need to do, like eat, sleep, etc. Some of us have to work because without work we’d be on the streets. But that being said, let’s break down what we do have control over.
We have control over how long we spend studying in a day. We have control over exercising and how often we do it. We have control over how we use our free time. We have control over what we listen to/read during the commute to school or work. We have control over how we spend our early mornings and late nights.
So to fix the problem, you take something away so you can add something else. Let me use my school schedule as an example. I do less studying to add time for Jesus. I refuse to study after dinner throughout a couple days of the week and use the remainder of my time to study the Bible. I go to church every Sunday to spend that time worshipping Jesus. I get it. It’s hard. There are days and weeks when things get crazy. Midterms pick up and we feel exhausted. I know. I’ve been there. Just because this is my new schedule, that doesn’t mean it works out perfectly from week-to-week. But when things do pick up, it’s about adjusting and re-prioritizing.
More tests call for more studying, how am I going to fit in more studying without taking away my Jesus time? To add more of something, you must take something away. Maybe it means you intentionally watch less YouTube/Netflix that week. Maybe it means you go to the gym three out of the five times that week. You re-arrange your priorities. In the end, it is all about how you prioritize. Knowing your priorities helps you get better at managing and spending your time. You know you’re super busy during week 8 and you have a test on week 9, start studying during week 7.
Where and how do I start prioritizing Jesus?
Adjustments take time. Be patient. I promise you Jesus is more patient with us than we can ever imagine. He’s more patient with you than you are on yourself.
I started with making a list of my priorities and laying out what my week looks like. This isn’t my schedule but a visual always help:
From there, it helps put into perspective how much time you have in a day and in a week. With the “free-time” that you have, you figure out where those other priorities belong. Where is Jesus going to fit in? How often? What days? How long?
Once you figure that out, then adjust accordingly. Are you going to make time to workout? Are you going to make time to play your piano? Brainstorm and adjust until you find a good fit. And of course, once that schedule is put into action, you also adjust from there. One class is more demanding that you expected, maybe that means on Thursdays you spend a couple more hours doing homework for that class instead of using that time to watch a movie. Turns out you only have the attention span to read the Bible for 15 minutes instead of 30, adjust accordingly.
What if I still don’t have enough time?
I hear you. You’re taking 18 credits of classes and you work all day on Saturday and Sunday. My advice is to start small and to get creative.
You might not have 2 hours a week to dedicate to Jesus, but you have 10 minutes every day. If you read your Bible for 10 minutes every day, that is 70 minutes a week!
Spotify is great, music is wonderful, but what if you listened to a sermon on your commute to class/work? An hour of traffic gives you enough time to listen to a sermon. Don’t know what church to listen to? Can I recommend my own? Try out Highlands Community Church.
Truth is, I’m not perfect. You know that. I’m a broken sinner that needs Jesus, badly. I know I spoke a lot of truth, but I don’t want to come off as judging. I don’t struggle with making time to read the Bible (as much anymore), but let’s get coffee and I can tell you all the ways I am struggling. If you’ve read up to this point, I hope you’ve benefitted from this in some way.
Pray that you find a good balance. Make small steps. Celebrate the little wins. Pray that we can keep making time for Jesus even when life gets crazy. Although it may mean watching one less Netflix episode before bed, spending that time reading the Bible and learning more about our all-loving and all-knowing God is so much more beneficial. I promise.
In the end, it’s all about how you prioritize. What are your top priorities?