This COVID-19 situation has just disrupted my whole routine, any suggestions for how I can keep up good bible reading & prayer habits while self-isolating?
From a stir-crazy Christian
Dear stir-crazy Christian,
Don’t worry, you’re not alone in feeling like this! It is always hard when things are so constantly changing, and you don’t have any routine or structure or accountability to get things done. Online classes can be useful, but usually the first 10 minutes of every lesson is a blooper reel of people trying to get their webcams and mics to work. It can be tempting to just stay in your pj’s and work from bed all day.
As comfortable as I’m sure your bed is, that is a fast way to be very unproductive. And it can be even easier at these times when you might have extra uni work, to forget to make time for God. When we’re going through uncertain times, this is when we need most to have time with God. He is the one who will help us in times of trouble and uncertainty, so it is more important than ever that we make time for Him.
Take a look at what it says in Psalm 119:89-96:
“Your word, Lord, is eternal;
it stands firm in the heavens.
Your faithfulness continues through all generations;
you established the earth, and it endures.
Your laws endure to this day,
for all things serve you.
If your law had not been my delight,
I would have perished in my affliction.
I will never forget your precepts,
for by them you have preserved my life.
Save me, for I am yours;
I have sought out your precepts.
The wicked are waiting to destroy me,
but I will ponder your statutes.
To all perfection I see a limit,
but your commands are boundless.”
This shows us how important it is to keep time with God as part of our life every day, no matter how hard it is with a disrupted routine and schedule. The poet talks about how important God’s word was to them when they were going through a difficult time. We also need to make sure that we lean on God in this time, by making space for His word in our lives.
But how do you make sure this doesn’t get crowded out by uni, and all the distractions you have at home? Putting structure into your whole day is the best way to do this, because if you just stay in bed, realistically, you probably won’t get anything much done. Professionals (and distance learning students) who are used to working from home have some good tips on how to keep your days productive when you’re getting used to studying from home.
Be consistent! Make sure you have a routine for when you get up, go to sleep, have lunch, read the bible and pray, do work. Trying to keep a daily routine the same will help things seem normal.
Get yourself ready- don’t just stay in your pj’s, no matter how comfy they are. Getting up and ready for the day will help you feel motivated
Limit social media/phone use…its is easy to get caught in an endless loop of scrolling, so put limits on how much you let this distract you. There are apps you can get to help with this!
Take breaks and mix things up! Make sure you let yourself take breaks, the same as you would between classes at uni. Grab a snack, go for a quick walk, send someone a message to check in on them. Make sure you give your brain space to recover too!
If you can make sure you keep a structure in your day, you won’t miss out the important things you should make time for. Because making sure you have space for bible reading and prayer in your schedule each day is part of looking after yourself at this time, so you can keep going!
Grace & peace,