Time in God’s Word Is Not a Grim Duty

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Frank Laubach (1884–1970) devoted his life to encouraging literacy around the world, with the goal that people everywhere would read the Bible. He wrote an influential pamphlet entitled “The Game with Minutes.” In it, Laubach encouraged Christians to keep God in their minds at least one second of every minute each day.[i]

Laubach wrote,

Humble folks often believe that walking with God is above their heads, or that they may “lose a good time” if they share all their joys with Christ. What a tragic misunderstanding to regard Him as a killer of happiness! A chorus of joyous voices round the world fairly sing that spending their hours with the Lord is the most thrilling joy ever known, and that beside it a ball game or a horse race is stupid. Spending time with the Lord is not a grim duty. And if you forget Him for minutes or even days, do not groan or repent, but begin anew with a smile. We live one day at a time. Every moment can be a fresh beginning.[ii]

Most days (I wish I could say all), I go to God expecting to be fed and encouraged, to be given joy and perspective. I sense God more in some moments than others, but I know He’s always with me and therefore I’m with Him. His wisdom, insight, grace, and love sometimes overwhelm me and nearly always encourage me. And if today isn’t one of those days, I don’t have to wait for tomorrow. He’s still with me as I go about my day. I can still think, pray, and meditate on Scripture even as I do other things, including—even especially—the mundane. Time with God is never wasted—it spills over into the rest of our day and colors it.

Puritan Thomas Brooks wrote:

Ah, friends, if you would but in good earnest set upon reading of the holy Scriptures, you may find in them so many happinesses as cannot be numbered, and so great happinesses as cannot be measured, and so copious happinesses as cannot be defined, and such precious happinesses as cannot be valued; and if all this won’t draw you to read the holy Scriptures conscientiously and frequently, I know not what will.[iii]

Almost four hundred years later, these words remain true. The copious happiness Brooks found in Scripture is freely available to us all—and the prospect of that happiness should draw us back to our Bibles every day.

 


Excerpted from Randy’s book Happiness.

[i] Frank C. Laubach, The Game with Minutes (Eastford, CT: Martino Fine Books, 2012).

[ii] Brother Lawrence and Frank Laubach, Practicing His Presence (Sargent, GA: The SeedSowers, 1973), 36.

[iii] Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity,” The Complete Works of Thomas Brooks, vol. 4.

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