Perhaps you've heard it said: "Time is money."
As a college student, time is sleep. Time is socialization. Time is work. But most prominently...time is in short supply.
Messages about the importance of time management are plenty, but even though the importance of devotional time and social time and school/family balance are emphasized, no one seems to be able to answer the question: how? How in the world do we do it all? Sometimes there are simply not enough hours in the day. And so students end up cutting corners somewhere. Homework gets dropped, friends get blocked, or sleep takes the hit. However, I find that in my own life, that sweet time lingering in the Lord's presence is often what slips away to allow room for papers and parties.
Trying to manage too much usually results in not doing any of it well. This brings with it frustration and guilt and that terrible struggle of always trying to do everything and yet never doing enough.
Guilt has NO place in our relationship with the Lord. Failure to reach the expectations and goals we have set for ourselves is something that will happen repeatedly throughout our lives. Do you know why? Because we're NOT God. God is God. And He is good and gracious enough to make up for our shortcomings and bridge the gap between sin and holiness. We are flawed and not expected to always succeed - we are just expected to cultivate a heart that is eager to obey and please the Lord.
The greatest danger is when this heavy feeling of guilt over struggling and failing to set aside time for the Lord keeps us on the path we are already on instead of driving us back to the Word. This is when it is important to realize - it's not always about the hours we have to give. It is the intent with which we pledge ourselves and our time to the Lord.
My parents had a pastor who poured wisdom into their lives, and they continue to spread his wisdom to me and sister today. His legacy lives on through his stories. He shared with my parents how he struggled as young working man with a family trying to make time for the Lord, but only managing a few minutes every morning to spend in focused devotion time. He was apologizing to the Lord, exhausted at the fact that his best didn't seem like enough, when he felt that the Lord spoke to him and said, "what do you think the short Psalms are for?"
Whether you have several hours to spend feasting at the table or only 10 minutes for a bite-sized Psalm, don't let guilt over not doing enough keep you from tasting and seeing that the Lord is good. He is an understanding and graceful God, and I think that he is patient with us as we struggle to balance our lives. As we are faithful to what He asks us to do, He will multiply our time and be faithful to us in return.
Read your Bible, snack on a Psalm; even if it's in the 5 minutes between breakfast and rushing out the door. Continuously making time with the Lord a priority creates a pattern that allows Him to come into various areas of your life throughout your day. He is gracious, and when we give Him all we have to give His grace is faithful to bridge the gap.
if you're looking for a short, bite-sized devotional to munch on each day, i recommend My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers or Jesus Calling by Beth Moore. each contains a small, daily devotional that can get your mind and eyes focused for the rest of the day, and i have encountered some pretty profound truths in the short paragraphs.