I was an Awana’s child. Actually our church program was called the Olympians, but really it was the same concept. You earned prizes for Scripture memorization and model behavior. More than just learning scripture, I was learning, what is now known as “Christianese.”
Part of the “Christianese” dialect was the acronym “QT” or “Quiet Time.” That devotional part of your day, usually morning, that you spent with “JC” AKA Jesus Christ. This morning task supposedly earned you a better ranking among believers. At least that was how I viewed it for years. Subsequently carrying around the guilt of not “performing” well enough because my “QT” was not up to par. It was more an activity to stave off guilt than it was to spend time with God. It wasn’t a relationship builder, it was a bullet point on a “good Christian” check list.
Over the years I have moved away from my “Olympian” background and their said “checklists.” It was been a journey that has taken me farther and farther away from the guilt that Satan tries to saddle me with, and brought me closer and closer to the heart of the Father. Learning along the way that it is about my RELATIONSHIP with Him, more than the little performance pieces that I try to perfect to impress Him.
A recent sermon at my church, gave me a deeper understanding of “QT” by changing its definition. I don’t think the pastor even knew that he was redefining a huge part of my life by simply addressing the topic of our “quality time” with the Lord. Quality time is the same as a “quiet time,” right? Not for me. For me “quiet time” insinuates a “have to” mentality. While “quality time” paves the way for a deeper more grace filled time with the Lord.
I believe that part of why Christ was born in a manger over 2,000 years ago was to reestablish our ability to have this “quality time” with Him all over again. No longer a list of books to read, and people to pray for, and feelings of guilt for missing appointed “quiet times.” Now we are able to accept His invitation to just BE with Him.
I felt like He said this to me, “I don’t care what we do together, I just want you to acknowledge Me in every activity. To realize that I am walking right beside you through every hill and valley. That I do not require you to do ANYTHING, but just BE with ME. There is nothing you can check off or accomplish that is going to make Me love you more, accept you more, pursue you more. I came as a baby long before “Christianese” was invented, long before a “QT” was ever established. I loved you then, and I love you now. I came simply to be with you. So let us enjoy each other. There’s no need to impress Me. Not now, not ever.”
So I pray that as we continue on this journey towards Christmas that you will take some time to be with the Lord, to answer the deepest desire of His heart. Quality time with you.
May your enjoyment of His presence increase this season.