Becoming More Like Jesus While Kids are Screaming

In a fast-paced world where time is apparently more valuable than spiritual growth, it’s tough to find enough of it to spend in prayer or the Bible. School schedules require coordination between four different people who all have to be at the same place within 15 minutes of each other. And that moment is precisely 15 minutes after the work day was supposed to start at your full-time job. On top of that, the only hope of making this schedule work lies in getting up at 5:30 AM and preparing the entire family for the coming circus act.

Who has time to read the Bible and pray in times like this? Practicing these spiritual disciplines must be something reserved for people who aren’t in your situation, right?

There’s more to this crazy day than meets the eye. Think about it this way. According to WNYC, the average commute time where I live is about 20 minutes. I’ve heard many friends and family tell me about travel times upwards of 40 minutes to an hour when all is said and done. This drive time is an opportunity to practice spiritual disciplines.

I’m a parent, and, if I’m not alone in the car, my trips go one of two ways. Either the car is quiet because both my kids decided to fall asleep, or the car is intolerably loud because they decided not to fall asleep. The middle ground is rare. In both cases I have an opportunity to become more like Christ.

If the kids are quiet, I can spend the time in prayer or listening to the Bible. The average length of an audio Bible is about 72 hours. Plus, YouVersion’s Bible app has an audio player that allows you to speed up the track. This means on 1.5x speed, I can listen to the entire Bible in 48 hours. If my average commute is 40 minutes a day (to and from), and if I only listen on weekdays, I can finish the entire Bible in under 15 weeks.

If the kids are being loud, I have even more opportunity to be like Jesus. Not only do I have the chance to engage in the grueling practice of patience, but I can also teach my kids the value of being quiet (which is a grueling discipline for them), or I can teach them how to listen to the Bible for short periods of time. It doesn’t need to take the entire trip. Even teaching kids to be quiet and listen for 5 minutes is a small step toward a lifetime of practicing quiet.

It seems like busy schedules are here to stay for the time being in American life. But this doesn’t mean you have to settle for a life without spiritual disciplines. Find ways to practice being more like Jesus even in the chaos. Seriously, even 5 minutes a day can be the first step toward making the most of the 24 hours God gives you each day.

Learning with you,


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