Friday, January 2, 2015

A Life-Changing Way to Start the Day

On a beautiful May day five years ago, I opened a daily devotional Bible and read the passage for that day. The next day, I read the next. Then the next. And somehow I've done it (almost) every day since.

This daily commitment to devote a little time to God has changed my life. It has given me guidance and hope. It has framed my days and been a constant reminder of my purpose here on this planet. I cannot recommend the process highly enough.

So to get you started, here are some guidelines for a life-changing way to start the day:

1. Pick a time. Any time. For me, it's "the first thing." Now, that may mean "the first thing" after Ethan gets delivered to school or after the coffee's brewed, but it's the first thing I do when I sit down to start my day. I don't check Facebook or email or even open my computer until I've had my time. Start by picking a time in your day where you're likely to have some time to yourself and adjust as needed.

2. Pick a tool. Mine has developed into a three-book process. (More about that here.) But it can be as simple as a reading plan on your smartphone or a chapter a day from that Bible you got as a kid. The power is in the time, not the tool(s). 

3. Make a commitment. Making it official will make it more likely to happen. Write it down, comment here and now, or at least tell yourself, "I'm going to do the NIV 365-day reading plan." Or "I'm going to have 30 minutes of quiet time with God during lunch." Or whatever. Just make the commitment to spend time daily with God.

4. Give it some grace. So you miss the second day. So what? High-five yourself for reading on the first day and try it again tomorrow. 

5. Give it some time. As with any habit, over time, you'll feel that you can't live without it. The hard part is getting started. But now, after five years, my day doesn't feel right without starting it with God. Your new commitment may feel forced and awkward at first, but please trust me on this: stick with it. 

Looking back now, after reading five different versions of the Bible (and counting!), getting daily reminders of God's love and grace and guidance in my life, I cannot imagine it any other way. And I don't want to imagine what my life would be without it.

Want to make your commitment here? Comment below. We'll cheer you on!

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