All of us are called to seek a deeper, richer relationship with God. While there is no “correct” place for us to spend time with God, choosing the right environment can help us feel less distracted, more spiritually connected, and in many ways shape how we spend our time with Him. Most of us don’t have a stained-glass cathedral next door to where we might think our time with God should be, but thankfully there are many more accessible and equally powerful places that can help facilitate good devotional time.
On a Hike
For many people, being immersed in nature’s beauty gives them an immediate appreciation for God’s creation and helps them feel closer to God. There are many times throughout the Bible where God manifests powerfully through nature, and the silence and scenery of a hike can be a good catalyst for narrowing your focus. The hike doesn’t have to be long, grueling, or alone. Regardless of where you choose, bring along a prayer list, a Bible, maybe a friend, and enjoy the stillness and beauty.
During your morning commute
Let’s be honest. You’re probably on your phone anyway, so you might as well open your Bible app, or look over those notes you’ve stuffed in your bag on the bus, or hit the play button on the Bible app in your car. Going to work is usually a routine thing, so making it into regular devotional time would be an easy habit to start.
While sipping your favorite drink at a local coffee shop
The ambiance of most coffee shops is literally made to be relaxing and conducive to conversation and getting things done. If making some devotional time part of your morning routine is more doable with a warm drink in hand, try skipping the drive-through and spending some one-on-one time with Jesus in the corner booth. The greater Seattle area, in particular, is littered with different sizes and styles of coffee shops, so someone you know is likely to have some solid recommendations. (Here’s a list of a few of ours here.)
Lifting weights at the gym
Most of us listen to music while we work out, or at least have our phones near. Time at the gym is rarely without pauses and is unlikely to get seriously interrupted, so it’s a great opportunity to listen to your Bible or your favorite message. (This one from Pastor Kevin will inspire you to keep pushing through your workout.) Prep some verses before you hit the elliptical; it’s a good way to be ready when you’re taking breaks between laps, reps, or stretches.
Going places tends to open up opportunities that aren’t normally available to us in everyday life.This is the fastest way we abandon our routines: by being in places that are out of our ordinary experiences and activities, and that’s great! It can supplement your daily devotional time in a powerful way. Travelling can sometimes allow us to do something unique for devotional time. Consider dedicating a small portion of time spent away to you and Jesus. While travelling, you can take time to pray about someone or something that wouldn’t normally be on your mind, or spend time thinking about how God created us to be so unique and diverse. You could also turn your entire trip into an opportunity for missions, going into new places and spaces where you could be the only Jesus they have ever known.
No matter where you end up having your devotional time, the point is to make it a priority throughout your week, because dedicating intentional time to spend with the Lord is valuable. As you try different environments to spend time with God in, we hope it can encourage different feelings of closeness with Him. Picking a unique place can enrich the time, but be less concerned with finding the “right” place and primarily concerned with actually engaging in devotionals. God will be pleased no matter where you are, so choose a place where you can follow through!