I used to struggle to enjoy reading the Bible.
If you’ve grown up around the church, you’ve probably been taught the importance of the spiritual practice of a daily “quiet time.”
It makes sense that if you want to know your Savior, you should invest a few quiet moments every day where God’s chosen to reveal himself, in his Word.
But for many years I secretly struggled to enjoy it. I knew it was good for me, sorta like eating broccoli or lifting weights, but I often approached it like it was a box I needed to check before the “real” work of the day began.
My faith was real, but where my spirit was willing, my flesh was weak and bent towards legalism.
One day, I picked up the book Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster and I came across this quote,
The church Fathers often spoke of Otium Sanctum, ‘holy leisure.’ It refers to a sense of balance in life, an ability to be at peace through the activities of the day, an ability to rest and take time to enjoy beauty, and an ability to pace ourselves. (Foster 39)
That sentence stopped me in my tracks.
I read it again and again
It encapsulated everything I wanted and felt I lacked. Holy leisure isn’t a 12-step program or a quick and easy fix for lackluster devotions. Rather it’s a mindset, and one that I’m constantly being challenged by.
I had been looking at my quiet times all wrong.
Instead of seeing it as a duty, I started to see it as a delight.
Pursuing otium sanctum has been nothing short of revolutionary for me. It’s changed my entire perspective on personal Bible study and quiet times. I’m still a busy mom, who’s days are far from leisurely, but I’m seeing time with the Lord not as a box to check each day, but an appointment I long to keep.