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From The Chaplain's Desk
From The Chaplain's Desk: Making Time For God

By Charles Dimmick, CT State Grange Chaplain

  January 5, 2016 --

Charleen used to say that, when she was a little girl, she thought that Church was at 11 am on Sundays because that’s when God had office hours. Her father was a college professor, and she had heard him speak of office hours as the time set aside for meeting with his students, so it was a logical conclusion, based on inadequate information, that God set aside a certain time to meet with his worshipers. In reality, of course, God is always available to meet with us; the problem is that we forget to set aside time to meet with God. Back when I was still teaching I had a similar problem with my students: I would set aside six to eight hours a week when I would be sure to be in my office to meet with my students, and very seldom had anyone come to see me, until the last week of the semester when some of them began to panic about how they were doing [or not doing] in their course work. And I often told them that I wished they had come to see me sooner. God must feel the same way.

I suggest, as a New Year’s discipline, that we all should try to set aside some time each day to commune with God, not just for an hour on Sunday morning. Perhaps one should start in a small way, saying that “starting this week I will try to say a few prayers and read a bible verse every Wednesday”, and then when this has become ingrained as a habit, add another day. I’m still not perfect on this myself, but after several years of trying I get in a bit of Morning Prayer or other devotion Sunday through Thursday almost every week. It’s a matter of discipline. And it doesn’t need to be done in a church or chapel or on your knees. When I was still working I did my daily devotions while commuting to work (minus the scripture reading, which really shouldn’t be done while driving).

One way to be reminded about this is to arrange for a suggested prayer service to be sent to you once or twice a day by e-mail. I use http://dailyoffice.org but there are several other such services if you look for them, such as http://dailyprayer.us/daily_devotion.php and http://www.plough.com/en/subscriptions/ daily-prayer. Or one should feel free to improvise whatever feels comfortable to you. There are no rules. God just wants you to keep in touch.

Whatever you do be sure to set aside some of this time just to listen to what God may be trying to say to you. Don’t let the noise of the world drown out God’s still small voice.

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