I've had a lot of trouble managing to do my regular (won't say daily) Bible readings recently. For the last few years I would get the children ready and in front of Sesame Street by 8am, so I could sit down and read and pray.
But getting three of them ready takes a lot longer than two! And at 8am most mornings I am still running around in my PJs, packing lunches, writing notes, putting washing on... the list goes on. Even when the TV goes on, there still seems to be a lot of urgent business to attend to.
Time is a factor, but so is concentration. I seem to be more and more distractible these days.
So I have succumbed to something I have always eschewed in the past: using a daily devotional book for my Bible readings.
I've never really liked them much. Either they seemed too simple and not worth my while, or I would read ahead obsessively and do 15 in one day, not really getting anything from any of them.
Ideally, my preferred option is to take a book of the Bible, and work through it over days or weeks, noting themes and connections and really thinking through the words.
But now I'm desperate, distracted and devoid of time. So a daily devotional is suiting me just fine. My aim is to take one thought into the day and chew it over. If I can keep focused on that, I'll be doing better than having no thoughts at all.
So far it's working.
Yesterday's devotional focused on Jesus' words about not worrying, taking the birds of the air as an example. The writer used a picture of geese on a lake in the middle of a storm. Rather than panic, flap about or run away, the geese, together, faced calmly into the storm and held their position.
Some days I feel like I'm in the middle of a storm. If I can just face into it, with God's help and keep my position, I'll come out the other side.