Like many people, I have really struggled with taking time every day to spend time with God. 

It is definitely not always easy to set aside time for Bible reading and prayer. And for a long time, I was resistant to setting standards for myself. I was always hoping that suddenly I would just “want” to do my quiet time, without adding it to my to-do list. 

 Exercise

Discipline is important when it comes to exercise - and our time with God. PICTURE: Danielle Cerullo/Unsplash

But ever since I was in youth group, I’ve been encouraged not to make excuses, and to make this daily time a priority. Deep down I knew I needed to overcome my resistance to setting standards for myself and instead do all in my power to ensure I spend this important time with God.

It’s really only in the past couple of months that I’ve managed to get into a good daily quiet time habit, at long last! I’ve now reached a point where I just do it, every day, and I even want to. What a joy!

"It’s funny how we start to crave things that are good for us! Soon the discipline and habit isn’t really as necessary anymore, and instead we begin to appreciate the benefits that come from doing something good for us."

So how did I get to this point?

Well, strangely, it all started with a flight of stairs.

Late last year, I was trying to walk up a long flight of stairs and became extremely puffed. My legs were heavy and my knees ached.

I was horrified at how unfit I was, and after a few minutes of grumpy self-criticism, I decided I really needed to start working out.

When it came to fitness, I didn’t think “Oh I should just want to workout, I don’t need to set a goal or write it down.” I knew that I needed to build discipline, and so each day, I began adding a 20 or 30 minute workout to my list of things to do.

And I decided it was time to give up on just wanting to want to do my quiet time. So I added that to my list as well. Each day, I did my absolute best to complete the workout and the Bible reading.

As the weeks went on, I realised that I was beginning to crave my workout time. It was great stress release and I was excited to see my strength growing as I could complete one more push-up or one more set of bicycle crunches.

It’s funny how we start to crave things that are good for us! Soon the discipline and habit isn’t really as necessary anymore, and instead we begin to appreciate the benefits that come from doing something good for us.

Shortly after I noticed how I craved my workouts, I noticed that I craved my quiet times too. I began to truly notice the days I didn’t spend reading the Bible and speaking with God, and that meant so much. 

Discipline and self-imposed goals are important. We might long to just “want” something, but longing isn’t as good as action. When I took action with my fitness, I got results – and then I got the craving. And the same thing happened with my quiet time.

Relationships take work, and when we choose to put in the effort with our relationship with God, there is so much to gain.