FIRST PERSON: Quiet time gives added reflection to TQ journey

JENESS PARK, Calif. (BP)--July 16 was a great day in comparison to the last few. No cameras, no lights and no hype.

It was just a day where we could all sit back and have an official quiet time. It has been hard to fit such moments into our busy TruthQuest schedule, because when we do have precious free time, it has been so tempting to sleep.

It was so nice because I had a full hour that I was completely alone in a bunk on the bus. I opened up my Bible and just soaked in what God was trying to reveal to me through his Word and his Spirit. It was amazing to see all that I have been missing in the last few days. I have yearned to dive into the Word, but I either get distracted or rushed by our schedule.

There was especially one verse that spoke out to me -- Philippians 2:14. It says, "In everything you do, stay away from complaining and arguing." It struck me in a powerful way because I have noticed lately it is becoming easier and easier for the team, and me specifically, to start complaining about our situation instead of being thankful for it and asking God to use me in any way that he needs me in any moment. I have realized this, but I really did not care. When I read over that verse, I realized that I need to change my attitude.

The next verse says, "In everything you do, stay away from complaining and arguing so that no one can speak a word of blame against you. You are to live clean, innocent lives as children of God in a dark world full of crooked and perverse people. Let your lives shine brightly before them."

We are supposed to live a clean life that none of our actions could possibly hinder someone from knowing Christ personally. I am making it a priority to watch every one of my thoughts and movements.

After my quiet time, I made my way into the back room of the bus where five of us had some serious fellowship together. We talked about what God taught us in our quiet time and ended by sharing verses and singing together. We had a great worship experience. I could not imagine a better way to start off the day. Two hours of pure, straight time with God. It was well-needed.

We have all decided to meet together at the beginning of the day, no matter how early, to encourage each other, build each other up and share what God has been doing on our hearts. I have also decided to have an hour quiet time each morning of pure alone time. This is going to be a difficult task, but I am 100 percent positive it will be worth it. I already have my alarm set for 5 in the morning.

I am so excited about what has happened today. I can only hope this is the start of a completely fruitful trip spiritually. I am totally not satisfied about where I am now, and I am willing to do what it takes to change and stay changed. My prayer is that God will reveal what I need to do to break myself.

--30-

Tim Harms, one of 12 teens in the TruthQuest: California initiative of Baptist Press, FamilyNet and LifeWay, is a student at Freedom Middle School in Franklin, Tenn.