Monday, October 17, 2011

The 10 & 10 Commitment

Back in 2005 when I was 7 weeks pregnant with my last child, I went to a Christian Writer's Conference in Glorietta, New Mexico.  This conference was a chance to not only gain knowledge and new writing skills, but it was a way to meet and interact with published authors and editors who might be chomping at the bit to publish new material.  I had written several children stories and had lots of ideas for more.  My main objective was to make connections and get published.  I did get lots of good feedback on my work, but it was a commitment I made at the conference which I think was more important than anything else that happened there. 

One night during one of the evening sessions, a lady who was a radio personality shared her testimony regarding her family, God, and her radio show.  She stated that in over 16 years she had not once missed a quiet time.  So every day for 16 years, she had spent a certain amount of time reading God's word and in prayer.  I was amazed, because 16 years was a long time.  She said that 16 years ago she had made a commitment to God to spend at least 10 minutes in reading the Bible and 10 minutes in prayer.  So, at the end of her presentation, she challenged those of us who were in the audience to stand up if we willing to make a 10 & 10 commitment which was to spend 10 minutes reading God's word and 10 minutes in prayer each day.  I was one of many who stood up and made that commitment that day in front of all of those witnesses.  I didn't make the promise to those people though.  I made it to God.

Up until that time, I would be lucky to get one or two quiet times in a week.  Life was full of making meals, taking kids to and from school and activities, cleaning, and laundry.  It was easy to find time to take a nap or watch TV or read a book, but time for God always seemed to be on the back burner.  I could no longer deny that I was no longer a baby in Christ.  It was time to get serious.  No more excuses.  He had given me 24 hours in every day to use wisely or unwisely as I saw fit.  I committed to the 20 minutes with one condition.  I prayed that night and told God I would do it, but He had to promise never to allow me to fall asleep at the end of the day without reminding me to do my quiet time.

I am happy to say that in those 6 years since I made that commitment, I have only missed one day of my 10 & 10 commitment just because I plain forgot.  God has been faithful with His promise.  If I don't remember, He is there to remind me.  Even the day I forgot to do my quiet time, I remembered throughout the day.  I just kept thinking I would do it later, but later I forgot.  I could not begin to tell you how many times I have turned out the light, set the alarm, snuggled in to go to sleep, and the thought, "Quiet time," has rolled through my brain.  On comes the light and out comes the Bible.

On the night I gave birth to my latest child, it was about 3:30 am when my husband and I finally got checked into the hospital room.  The baby was fed, and it was time for some much needed sleep.  We started to turn out the light, and the words, "Quiet time," ran through my brain.  I have never been so tempted to break my promise as I was at that moment.  I had just given birth, and I was exhausted. "God knows my heart, right?  He knows if I don't have a quiet time that I still love Him."  Yes, all that might be true.  However, I made a promise to Him, and I wasn't going to be the one to intentionally break it.  He had just given me a healthy, beautiful baby.  How could I not give him 20 minutes of my time?  So, out came the Bible and I had my quiet time.

I remember Carl saying, "Man, that is hard core."  Some people might even say it was too legalistic for me to have my quiet time.  The Lord is full of mercy and grace.  He would have understood, right?  That might be true, but Matthew 5:37 says, "But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes', and your 'No' be 'No'.  For whatever is more than these is from the evil one."  There is an old saying which says, "Promises are made to be broken."  I disagree.  I think promises are meant to be kept. 

God has given us all so much.  Some blessings could include good health for ourselves and our children.  We are able to see, walk, run, play, dance, drive, etc.  We can work and think independently for ourselves.  He has given us a roof over our heads and provision.  But more than anything else, He has given to us a free gift of salvation by dying on the cross for our sins to all who are willing to accept the gift.  For all He has given to me, can I not set aside a little bit of each and every day for Him?

I would like to see if there are any out there reading this blog today that would be willing to make that 10 & 10 commitment.  It is at least 10 minutes in reading God's word and 10 minutes in prayer every day for the rest of your life.  It is a big deal, but what Christ did for us is a big deal too.  I did not post my birth story about my quiet time to be prideful.  I want you to know that there will be rainy days where you will have your cup of coffee, and you will be excited about slowing down and meeting with God.  There will be other days though, like after my birth, that it will be extremely hard to fit it into your day, and you will be tempted to not do it.  Always know that God will multiply your time if you give Him time.  I have found that to be true over and over again.

I would love to hear from you today if you have made this commitment to God today.  Post a comment or email me.  I can be your witness as well as others who read this blog.  Let us rejoice with you as you commit to drawing closer to God.  God bless you all!

"If a man makes a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by some agreement, he shall not break his word;  he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth."  Numbers 30:2  

2 comments:

  1. What a wonderful post and I am excited to join you in this commitment. I have struggled with quiet time and not being able to fit it in. I have to agree that the days I can devote half and hour to Him I feel wonderful and then I think... why don't I do this everyday? Why don't I make the time for HIM after all He did for me?
    I thank you for this post and I join you sister in this journey.

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  2. I'm with you. It really is the LEAST we can do. And, what joy you have in saying "for SIX YEARS!" That is fantastic...a testimony to His faithfulness, indeed.

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