The Most Critical Decision You’ll Make Today (and everyday)
Almost every day of the week, my day starts with a 3 Mile run. I hop out of bed, put in contact lenses, and stumble downstairs to get ready for the run. On my run, I’m mostly thinking about my job and the things I need to do for that day. After my run, I cool down on my back patio, drinking a protein shake and reading the digital replica edition of the Denver Post. Next comes a shower, then I get dressed to start the day. It’s at this part of my morning routine that I make the most critical decision of my day.
Since I work from home in my basement, it is easy for me to start working on whatever process or project I’m working on for our Christian non-profit, One Eight Catalyst. After I’m dressed, I’m thinking about work and I’m thinking about the mental to-do list I’ve made on my run. But as most of us know, getting time daily with God in prayer and Bible reading is so important. The most critical decision I’ll make in any day is whether I get this time with God, which we many times will call a ‘Quiet Time.’ This decision at this time of the day is critical for me for a couple of reasons: First, I desperately need that time to connect with God and to get my head ‘on straight’ for the day. Secondly, if I don’t get this time with God at this time of the day, I probably won’t do it at all. On the days that I struggle to get this time with God, I justify that ‘well, I’ll read my Bible at lunch,’ or ‘I’ll get this time after a go to bed.’ I confess that neither of these two things happen very often. I’m either with someone for lunch or otherwise using the time to take a break and I’m pretty tired by the time my head hits the pillow at bedtime. So I have to do it then or it just won’t get done at all.
You may be wondering why this time is so critical. While there’s much to be written to answer that question, Jesus summarizes it best in John 15:4-8:
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.”
I’ve been focusing a lot on what it actually means to abide in Christ. The dictionary definition gives us the idea that we are to remain fixed to or to conform to. Jesus bears this out in the passage. He is the vine (the trunk) and we are the branches, and He says that apart from Him we can do nothing. As we go about our day, none of us want to do nothing, at least nothing that has the power of Christ behind it. And especially for me, doing work in ministry without getting my ‘marching orders’ from Christ is foolish.
A couple of quick notes: First, I have found that the mornings is the best time for me. I have a friend that has set aside time after dinner when his kids go to bed to read the Bible and pray. The time of the day isn’t as important, just that you’re making that connection daily. Secondly, I’m including a handout I’ve used for years on steps on how to have a successful Quiet Time. Use it wisely! Finally, if you’re not using a Bible Reading Plan, may I recommend our new 5 Day a Week Bible Reading plan. It will help you read through the Bible in a year, which is a great way to spend some of each year!
Finally, may I encourage us all that our of the 35,000 decisions we make everyday, may we make the right decision for most critical decision of our day and connect with God in prayer and Bible Reading everyday. You’ll be so glad that you did!