"Everyone should try to spend intentional time with God every day. Except women with small children."
I was in college, listening to a sermon about friendship. But when the pastor gave women with small children an exception from "quiet times," I noticed. And I remembered.I'm not sure he was serious, and even if he was, I'm not sure I want to take his advice. I like reading the Bible. I need to pray. I long for uninterrupted times of contemplation. But I understand what he was getting at. Right now, my relationship with God comes in snatches. There are the official ones–reading Matthew on my Iphone at one in the morning as Marilee nurses… praying as I slide back into sleep… catching ten minutes to read as I eat a meal…But my grandiose plans for Lent have already fallen by the wayside. I thought I'd read one Gospel each week and then turn to Romans, with a dose of John Stott's
My questions remain–what does it mean that Jesus "died on the cross for my sins"? How do the Biblical writers explain it? How do the different explanations contribute to a fuller understanding of who God is and who I am? And my intentions to read much of the New Testament with these questions in mind also remain. I just might still be reading in 2012 (though hopefully not at one in the morning…). Beyond the formal plans, however long they may take, and beyond the formal snatches of reading the Bible and praying, is glimpsing the God of the cross in my daily life. Learning about Jesus as I complain to myself about a sore back. Getting a hint of what it means to sacrifice for another as I calm a crying child. Beginning to comprehend giving my body that another may have life. So this Lenten season won't be as structured or goal-oriented as I might have liked. But I trust that God will teach me about sacrificial love all the same.