Hey, ya’ll, I’m Sunny, and I am a sophomore International Studies major with a minor in Middle Eastern Studies. I am also a part of the Model U.N. team on campus and the Secretary for the IJM chapter. I’m from a little town in North Carolina called Liberty. So I’m a Southern girl at heart. Right now, I’m going through the book of Psalms and Hosea in my quiet time. I love reading the Psalms because I can really reflect on a couple of verses throughout my day.
You’ll hear our President, Dr. White, and our faculty frequently encourage the student body to attend chapel, find a church, and stay consistent with our personal quiet time. Cedarville also has amazing orgs, like discipleship groups and Bigs and Littles, that encourage student involvement in the study of the Word. But even with Cedarville’s support and Dr. White’s encouragement, we can still struggle to remain consistent with our quiet time. So the question remains, how do we as students find time for our quiet time amidst our busy college life?
Establish a consistent routine.
I am not a morning person by any stretch of the imagination. But, I have found that waking up at a reasonable hour, making my bed, washing my face, and sitting down with a good cup of coffee and my Bible each morning significantly improves the rest of my day. Whether you’re a morning person or a night owl, try to set a routine that includes your quiet time. I also found that starting off with Jesus and not social media significantly improves my focus and my time management throughout my day, because it is so easy to just scroll through social media instead of opening up my Bible.
Set reasonable goals.
Don’t expect yourself to read through an entire book of the Bible in one sitting or to wake up an hour earlier. Instead try to read through a chapter a week or wake up 15 minutes earlier. Setting reasonable goals is the easiest way to prevent burnout and discouragement. As time goes on and you get used to these changes, you can set new goals. The key is small changes over time.
Find a special place to have your quiet time.
I know that for me if I sit down at my desk in the morning and try to do my Bible time, I can often get sidetracked with emails or looking at how busy my day is. Maybe you’ve experienced the same thing. So, maybe going to a quiet coffee shop, or sitting in a comfy chair in your dorm lounge, or maybe sitting outside when the weather’s nice are good ways to prevent distraction.
Have a plan.
We have schedules, lists, and calendars to help us plan our work or school schedule. Why not have a plan for our quiet time too? I’ve found that working through a devotional or a book of the Bible each semester has really helped improve my focus and motivation during my Bible time. This semester I’m working through the book of Hosea. I chose to work through the book of Hosea because I was relatively unfamiliar with it and it just so happened to be exactly 14 chapters long and would work perfectly for me to read a chapter a week. And I’ve found that it has been so good to work through one book of the Bible and be able to pour over and really analyze the text on a deeper level. The Cedarville bookstore also sells these great little bound journals that include a book of the Bible and blank lined paper so that you can jot down notes and prayers as you read.
I love using Google Calendar to schedule out my day or to set reminders for myself, and I found that using Google Calendar to set a reminder for my Bible time is really motivating. It’s really convicting when my phone or Apple Watch dings with a reminder to have my quiet time at 8 a.m. but I’m still asleep or I’m working on homework. Accountability can also come in the form of friends or mentors. Talking with your roommate or RA about your goals for your quiet time and asking them to check up on you every once in a while is a good way to set healthy accountability standards for yourself.
I know that college is busy and tiring, and having a consistent quiet time in the midst of the hustle and bustle of college life can be so hard. If you feel like it’s been hard to have a daily quiet time, I hope that some of these ideas can help. Setting aside time for quiet time and creating those good practices is so valuable because it makes patterns and structure that we can rely on as we continue to grow.
Majoring in International Studies, Class of 2023
Where I’m from: Born on the coast of Mississippi but now living on a farm in North Carolina
Favorite Class: World Religions with Dr. Bennet or Cross-Cultural Ministry with Dr. Bowman
Go to Rinnova Order: Iced Vanilla Latter (with a sprinkle of cinnamon!)
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