During My Devotions, I Could Have Made a Better Choice


I said, “You’re in my space. You usually don’t get up this early and now you’re invading my quiet time.”

I spoke with …

… no grace.

… no kindness

… no loving spirit.

… and with pure irritation.

Well, sorrr-eeee, Mr. I’m-getting-right-with-God. I’ll just go to another room. And my lovely wife took her phone conversation elsewhere.

Quick observation! I could have handled the situation with much more grace.

Well, duh! Tell me something I didn’t know. Any grace would have been “more grace.”

I had two better choices.

1)   I could have, without fanfare, moved to another room.

2)   I could have, without irritation, said, “I’m sorry, Honey, but I can’t concentrate. Would you, please, go to another room?”

The whole scenario though raises questions in my mind.

What purpose do devotions and/or “quiet” times serve?

Do my private devotions have public implications? Does my quiet time serve my community? If so, in what way?

How did Jesus handle the interruptions?

I’m curious. What do you think?

Dark Eyes, Deep Eyes

Two men. Two eternal destinies.

One common hope.

My novel can be found at:

WestBow Press

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About tnealtarver

I've traveled and spoken around the world but always love to come home. There I eat exceptional meals, drink coffee to my heart's content, and get loved like nowhere else on earth. I believe a community centered in Christ should be all that and so much more.
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5 Responses to During My Devotions, I Could Have Made a Better Choice

  1. Shirley says:

    Thank you for sharing, I was laughing when I read this because it sounds like me except I would just stormed out of the room all irritated and the other person wouldn’t even know what had happened. I think it’s more of an expectation that we have and when something doesn’t match our expectation, in this scenario a quiet time, most people would get irritated so quickly that there’s no time to think through what had happened. I haven’t read through the Bible but I think Jesus usually tells his disciples when he goes away for quiet time and either ask them to wait or stand guard for him. I haven’t spend any time in daily devotion or at least I tried but I couldn’t concentrate on someone I don’t know or I can’t imagine or I can’t see, in my case, that’s God and try to understand what he is saying when I don’t even understand my own thoughts. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe in God but I just find it hard to concentrate and talk to him like I would with a normal human being. Well in fact, I have a hard time talking to anyone. So for the last couple of weeks I have been contemplating the idea of ‘what if I am not suppose to concentrate on him, but instead I am suppose to concentrate on myself and what’s in my heart?’ My thinking is that at the time of Adam and Eve, they can see God, so they can communicate freely with God. Later on when people were disconnected with God, God send his only son Jesus in the form of human to try to reconnect the broken relationship, so at that time people are able to freely communicate with Jesus. After Jesus ascended to the high place above, he send the Holy Spirit as a guide and helper to the people who believe and have faith in him, so right now we have the Holy Spirit living in our hearts and supposedly we are free to communicate with the Holy Spirit and it knows the thoughts of God. So I guess this is the Holy Trinity, they are all the one and the same. During the last month, I have open my heart to myself and I have been dreaming every single night for the last month. Most of them are recurring dreams but in different forms and some are new and they are usually the uncertainty I felt when I am awake. So right now to me, quiet time means to communicate with myself and with my heart and amazingly I found that I genuinely appreciates what God has done for me by placing the right people and resources that I can get a hold of. I only remember the time just before Jesus was captured and he prayed and asked God why God has forsaken him, I feel that Jesus is more or less talking to himself because he already knew what is going to happen. It is only after praying that he found and regain his confidence that that’s how it should be done and that he’s ready to face the world. With this new idea (or maybe not so new because God planted it there) that I see and understand what I read in the Bible a little differently. I do believe that the quiet time lets us renew what we believe, whether God or something of our passion, so that it allows us to interact with others with confidence and share our knowledge. I am still pondering about this ‘new’ definition of mine and maybe that’s the answer to my question of how to pray. And I can imagine people saying that I shouldn’t think that way because we are suppose to focus on God and only God because that’s the first commandment. But there’s nothing new under the sun, so I will just play with this idea for a little longer and have quiet time with myself and concentrating on myself instead of concentrating on what God is thinking. (Now that I have written this, I may even have got the wrong idea of daily devotion. Oh well, I will put a note in my new believer 101.)

  2. tnealtarver says:

    I’m currently in Alaska with a short-term mission team. One of the things I’m involved in is Vacation Bible School. We’ve been asking the children for their “God sightings,” those moments they can see God in their lives. When you focus on what you see and are thankful for, you begin to also see God at work in your life–a grandmother getting better, a fishing trip, pigeons flying off the barn. These are things the children talked about and connected with God. You’re starting where you are, working through the possibilities, and searching to know God through your own thoughts. David wrote, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made …” which suggests he too thought about his life and thanked God for what He had done for David.

    I appreciate where you are, “new believer 101,” and where you’re going, deeper with God. May God guide you in your growth and understanding and may He bless you.

  3. Kari Scare says:

    Boy does this convict me this morning. I am less than cheerful when I am interrupted by my kids during morning devotion (okay, far from it actually). What message am I sending about this immensely important habit? Not being a morning person and having muddy thoughts before 9am, I really struggle with this. Realizing Jesus’ example in this is even more convicting. I need some prayer time on this. Setting a better example is very important to me.

    • tnealtarver says:

      The “Prayer Garden” picture was taken on our work site at the church where a team from the Midwest has been doing renovations. From time to time, I’ve slipped away from the crowd for quiet time. I don’t have a place like that at home but it’d be nice if we did. My quiet time depends on scheduling (rising before Ellen) rather than as a secluded spot. It’d be nice if we could all find a prayer garden.

      • Kari Scare says:

        During nice weather in Michigan (and you never know when that will be), I go out on my deck. During colder weather, I have an office above the garage, which I’ve made part of into a quiet time/prayer room. We set some specific boundaries with my boys, and it’s working quite well for us. I think they are learning that if they give me my quiet time, we’re all happier. My husband still works outside of the home though, which helps with me having time. I would LOVE an actual prayer garden though. I’m working on making my back deck more of that during the spring/summer/fall times.

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