One of the most difficult tasks Christian students face when they begin their college lives is dorming. They have to create a new routine with roommates and a new routine to spend time with God.
Quiet time in Christian lingo often refers to a time of the day put aside to read the Bible and journal about what has been learned that day. Everyone does it differently and everyone does it at different times of the day. Fitting in that special time with God can be especially difficult while adjusting to dorm life and in the very busy world of college.
It’s difficult to find quiet time with the Lord in college compared to high school, Vivian Chan, a freshman at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo said.
“I have classes in the morning or sometimes classes in the afternoon so it’s not always practical for me to be like ‘alright I’ll have this one time every single day that I’ll do quiet time,'” Chan said. “My schedule is a little different every day as opposed to high school.”
Old times that once used to be convenient for quiet times are now difficult, Chan said.
“It’s hard too because typically I do them sometime in the morning but I’ve been staying out a bit later studying or hanging out, so in the morning I’m kind of like zombie like,” Chan said.
The key to having a quiet time correlates with seeing it as a priority, Cal Poly’s Chinese Christian Fellowship President Will Pong said.
“I totally went through and you know I’ll still go through moments where it’s hard to do quiet time. The basic key is you know being thirsty for God, being thirsty for His word.”
To find time with difficult schedules students can take their Bibles to read during downtime between classes, Chan said.
“I carry my Bible in my backpack so usually when I have an hour or so between classes I whip it out,” Chan said.
Noise can be another problem during ‘quiet’ time, Alina Barela a freshman at UC Riverside and an Adopt-a-Block ministry small group leader said.
“Sometimes it’s really loud, but when I found out who my roommates were I already told them ‘hey like in the morning I like to read my Bible, no distractions just in peaceful, quietness,'” Barela said. “They respected that so they’re not too loud or anything.”
College life hasn’t been completely detrimental to time with God though, Chan said.
“I have people keep me accountable,” Chan said. “I didn’t have that as much in high school but here occasionally someone would remind me ‘did you do your devotionals today?’ and I’m like ‘I did not. I should do it.'”
Quiet times are different for everyone, some merely reading the Bible, and others doing an in depth study of the historical context of a passage, as Barela does.
“I usually just read a chapter unless it’s like really small and then I’ll reread it and just write the main points of it and then just try to apply it to my own life and try to look at also what was happening during the time,” Barela said.
Quiet times can also be spent in books other than the Bible to further one’s spiritual growth, Chan said.
“I also read books by Christian authors too sometimes when I take a break from the Bible like ‘Crazy Love’ by Francis Chan; just good books talking about different issues in the Christian life,” Chan said.
For Christians that miss a day or two of being in God’s word, Pong offers advice.
“Sometimes I’ll try to read the Bible and I just can’t read it for some reason and if that keeps happening – I won’t guilt trip myself,” Pong said. “I used to I’d be like ‘man Will you’re so bad because you’re not able to read the Bible and here it is good for you’ but instead I’ve changed my way in looking at things because honestly God is looking just to have a relationship with you.”
If a student (or Christian of any age) finds themselves struggling with spending time in God’s word pray about it, Pong said.
“I’ll just go and pray to God and talk to Him honestly about just my whole life,” Pong said. “All the times I’ve done that and I’ve just laid my life before Him, God helps me discover where it is in my life that maybe I haven’t been putting my trust or haven’t been including Him in that area of my life. Once I begin to renew my heart in a way I’m back in line with God and after that I’m able to read the word again.”