There are times and seasons in life when busyness seems to crowd out all our best intentions. The belligerent insistence of "the urgent" takes over. The last few weeks have been a bit like that for me--a flurry of nagging health issues, an intensely crowded itinerary, and an onslaught of minor controversies have conspired together with my regular responsibilities to make life more than a little crazy.
A few years ago my friend Marlene Frey reminded me of Spurgeon's wise counsel--for times like these when lives are so hectic, bodies are so weary, and minds are so distracted that it seems almost impossible to have quality time with the Lord:
"Private devotions ought to be a dialogue between the soul and God: by the Scripture the Lord speaks to us, and by prayer we speak to Him. Sometimes, you know, in conversation with a friend, you have not much to say. Very well; you listen while your friend speaks. When prayer is not urgent, read your Bible, and hear what God the Lord shall speak; and when you have heard His voice, you will usually find it in your heart to pray unto Him. If the prayer be soon over, because you have expressed all your thoughts, then let the Lord speak again, and do you hearken diligently. But do speak to the Lord. Realize His presence, and then speak to Him as a man speaketh with his friend."