What is “Quiet Time” Anyway?

I recall as a young person in church classes, I was told it was important to have a daily “quiet time.”  As I recall that instruction, it was always offered to me in terms of “read your bible and prayer every day.”  And it seemed I was supposed to already know not just what it was, but also how it was done.  I did know what that meant, that is how the words were defined, but I am not at all sure I knew how to really implement bible reading and prayer in a few minutes each morning.  Maybe I knew as much as I could as a young person of that day, but then again some more hand holding might have been a good thing.  

Come to think of it, maybe that was why our leaders put in front of us “youth devotionals” which had a verse of Scripture, a “devotional thought” (which to my thinking at the time might or might not have connected with the Scripture) and maybe a sentence prayer or some statement like, “now go and act like this.”  Maybe that did “count” as hand holding by our leaders but as I look back on it, it still left me in a rather “passive” approach to “a daily quiet time.”  Someone or something else was “doing” my daily quiet time for me.  Perhaps I am being overly critical, or maybe have too selective a memory?  What do you think?  Not just about what I recall from my “up-brining” but also from your past experiences.

Two weeks ago I asked you to consider an app, Lectio 365, that falls into this genre of a devotional app for what we could call a daily quiet time.  To my way of thinking it goes beyond that.  It helps put before us a structure (or maybe we could call it a template) for how to put yourself in a place to not just call a few minutes a “quiet time,” but how to pause and quiet yourself, how to meditate, reflect on a Scripture passage, how you can spend several days on one passage and dig into it for its depth, and how to integrate Scripture and prayer.  All that seems to me to constitute some “hand holding” on what a quiet time could be.

Today, I would like to offer you a similar app and web site, d365 ( https://d365.org ).

Yes, both by virtue of their respective names, call your attention to a goal of daily practice.

D365 can be delivered as an app on your devices, on a web page and in your email that links to a web page that offers the day’s reflections.  For some of us who spend a good bit of time looking at emails (maybe too much, but that we can consider another day), the daily email reminder is probably a plus.

D365 is produced by a ministry organization named Passport.  They report their mission is “With Christ as our foundation, Passport empowers students to have fresh encounters with God, embrace community, and extend grace to the world.”  They work to do that through youth camps and also this app.  But, hold on.  I know it wants to empower “students” but don’t like that lead you to think it cannot offer some great content and structure for us “old-folk” who might be a little set in our ways.

One more thing about Passport.  It reports its denominational partners are “the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, the Presbyterian Church (USA), The Episcopal Church, and the United Methodist Church.”  I’ll leave it to you to decide if that is a plus or minus for you.  As for me, it is a plus.

For each day it offers the pattern of “Pause – Listen – Think – Pray – Go.”  

From their web site ( https://d365.org/about_d365/ ) they tell us – 

“Our devotions are written by ministers, professors, students, teachers, missionaries, denominational leaders, and others who work with and care for students. Typically, an author writes on a single theme for one week. In these devotions, you will read honest struggles and questions, all in the context of real faith. As you read the thoughts of the writers, think about your own response to the scripture for the day. Let the writer’s words serve as background for your own conversation with God.”

Pause
Each day of the week, we begin our devotions with a powerful statement intended to help you pause and prepare to listen to what God is saying. The “Pause” statement will remain the same throughout the week.

Listen –
You will find selected lectionary scripture verse(s) for each day. Unless otherwise noted, scriptures are from the Common English Bible.

Think –
The devotional is designed to help you think and interact with the scripture. Let the writer’s words guide your reflection on the scripture.

Pray
The prayer is a starting point for you to begin your own personal conversations with God.

Go –
We conclude our devotions with a blessing intended to send you out, remembering what you have learned, guided by the Spirit. The “Go” statement will also remain the same throughout the week.

Their blessing, Go statement, for last week was – 

“God, let my seeing and hearing, my words and my actions be rooted like a strong tree in a silent certainty of your presence. Amen.  (Adapted from a Celtic benediction by J. Phillip Newell)”

And the blessing for this week is – 

“May God give you Grace never to sell yourself short!  Grace to risk something big for something good!  Grace to remember that the world is too dangerous for anything but truth and too small for anything but Love!  (from “The Dismissal Blessing” by William Sloane Coffin)”

This week’s theme is “Be Loved.”  The themes for the last several weeks are “Be,” Be Together,” and “Be Still.”  If you go back to the meditations for April and May (which you can find on the calendar on the web site) you will see they spent time addressing the Covid-19 pandemic.

What do you think?  Want to check out the web site ( https://d365.org/ )?  Maybe download and try on the app?

charles
{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.