“I’m too busy to.” This is perhaps the most commonly used excuse to brush off questions about why a person is not doing something. People are too busy to volunteer. People do not have time for a relationship. People have too much going on in their lives to be involved in their church. People just cannot fit visiting family into their schedules.
While there are some things that people actually cannot fit into their schedules, “I’m too busy” too often really means either “I don’t care enough to make time” or “I’m too lazy to do this.” There is, of course, a difference between making time to pick up a few volunteer hours a week when a person and finding time to be the main music minister at church when a person’s family has just welcomed twins into the world. Some things, however, do not require massive commitments but are still tossed into the mental box of “too busy to do.” There should always be time made for family members, even if just a short phone call twice a month. Christians should also make sure to fit God into their lives. One of the most common ways Christians connect with God is through Scripture. Spending time with Scripture, however, is not something many Christians feel they have time to do. Many people have tried to read the Bible in a year only to find they either fill their schedule with other commitments and drop the practice or lose interest in the middle of Deuteronomy.
Spending time with the Scriptures, however, does not have to be a massive time commitment. With a little creativity, Christians can immerse themselves in the Bible even during the busiest times of their lives. Here are five easy ways to spend more time with the Scriptures.
Bible AudiobookLots of people have a long commute to work each day. To spend a little more time with Scripture, download an audiobook of the Bible. Then, a person can listen to their Bible on their way to work, on the way home or both. A person can either start with Genesis and work through to Revelation or listen to the passages that are most appropriate for the time of year. The Gospel of Luke or the Book of Isaiah, after all, is more fitting for Advent than Leviticus or Esther. Easter practically demands one of the Gospels. Midsummer, meanwhile, does not fit as cleanly with one particular story or book. A person could listen to anything, however, mixing July heat with Numbers may be a good way to doze off in traffic.
Morning PracticeMany people recommend creating a meaningful morning practice in order to start the day off right. This can mean five minutes of meditation, a contemplative walk around the block or playing inspirational music while making breakfast. For Christians, a common component of a meaningful morning practice is prayer. Talking to God is a wonderful way to start the day as is meditation, but the mornings are also an easy place to sneak in some time with the Bible.
Each morning, choose a short passage from Scripture to read. Depending on how hectic mornings are, that passage could be anything from two verses to an entire book. A person could either read their Bible in a quiet, deliberately constructed sacred space at home or while leaning against the counter as the coffee brews. Obviously, a single, young professional will likely have a different morning routine than the working mother of four, but there are ways to fit Scripture in both their lives. Even a mother usually has a few minutes to herself before the children are awake, and it does not take that long to read a single verse.
After reading Scripture, keep focusing on it throughout the day. For those that choose to select a random verse, pay attention to how that verse could be important in current circumstances. For those that work their way through either the entire Bible or a book from start to finish, pay attention to the verse of the day. There is always some nugget of wisdom to be found. Should the verse consist entirely of a genealogy, try to think about why those people were important. Did any of them know what their descendants would go on to do? What were their lives like? Keeping the focus on God can help even the most hectic mornings seem a little more peaceful, or at least help a person find the patience to keep the peace between feuding six year olds.
Bible Study of TwoHaving someone to keep a person accountable is very important when they are trying to change their habits. Getting more involved with Scripture is no different. To avoid putting down the Bible when it comes time to read through Numbers, form a miniature Bible study with a friend or spouse. Most people already have time built into their schedules for family and friends, so just spend a few of those minutes discussing what both people have read. The two people can either read the same passages and see what they each thought of them, or they can pick passages that feel appropriate for their lives and discuss why they picked those passages. These conversations can take place through text, over dinner or before yoga class.
Verse of the DayDespite the many problems they can cause, smartphones can actually be a great way to spend more time with Scripture. Sign up for a “Bible Verse of the Day” email, and take a few minutes to meditate on the verse. Read the verse in the morning to get in the right mindset for the day, or check the email over lunch to get back on track. Most people check their email dozens of times during the day, so the time for a Bible verse is already built into a person’s schedule.
Alongside Something ElseMost people have times during the day where they are “occupied” but not actually busy. A decent amount of time spent cooking, after all, is waiting for water to boil, a sauce to reduce or the oven to finish preheating. During those moments of “empty busyness,” crack open the Bible. Read a few verses while the soup thickens or the coffee percolates. For those who enjoy working out, take a Bible to the gym and read it while walking on the treadmill instead of watching reality TV. Instead of scrolling through Facebook just one more time before bed, read a chapter from Scripture. In addition to the spiritual benefits of focusing on God, reading a paper and ink book before bed can help with insomnia.
Fitting Scripture into a busy life does not mean that a person has to restructure their entire schedule. It simply requires taking advantage of the time that already exists. Make the most of “empty busy time,” and get friends or family involved. Put away the excuses, and pick up the Bible instead.