I have never gone fishing, but I certainly have enjoyed being on the receiving end of said activity. Over the weekend, I was blessed to travel to Philadelphia, a 6.5 hour drive from my home, to visit our daughter who is in her senior year of college (insert praise break). We went out to dinner to a seafood restaurant. Among the myriad of choices, we listened to our server discuss the “catch of the day.” Processing the fact that someone most recently had the opportunity to sit likely quietly, in a space for a purpose was refreshing. The hustle and bustle of life often counters this perspective. Before we are finished with one activity, we are lining up in our head our virtual checklist to begin the next. This is challenging enough as a person without children or spouse, or aging parent, but when you begin to add other factors, the consideration of time alone with God seems to be far away and unimaginable. Yet, without it, there is a high probability that everything we encounter will only receive a portion of our greatness and we set ourselves up to receive a buffet of disaster.
I get it! How I long for the time that my mother is blessed to spend with the Creator. She awakes with prayer. If weather permitting, she walks about two miles, reciting scripture and praying in between her “hellos” to other folk exercising. She returns home and spends an hour or two reading the Word, going over her prayer list and in worship. She is also able to get laundry done, check on friends, cook, clean, visit the sick and “other duties as assigned.” However, her time with God is at the top of the list. I’ve often shared how I wish for that type of of time with the Master. Her response, “I wasn’t able to do this while working and raising you and your brother. God knows. Take what you can, and be faithful to it. He will create other ways to increase it.” Mom is always right! I’ve been spending more time with God, and over the weekend, he enabled me to spend about 13 hours with him up and down I-95. It was beautiful! The normal drag I feel for driving solo and encountering the traffic was minimal if non existent compared to the time I enjoyed worshipping, praying, thanking, blessing and giving glory to God. I received instruction. I was rebuked. I was encouraged. I embraced love. I was gone worshipping.
We may not always have opportunity to physically remove ourselves from the grind, but time with God allows us to transcend our present and connect with the divine. We can incorporate a gone worshipping mentality. In addition to playing the Bible on tape/cd or worship music in our car as we pick up/drop off the children, play the same music at home while preparing lunch for the next day or dinner for the evening. Create a methodology of your children being in the presence to allow the Word or music to be deposited into them as well. Each day before my daughter and I left home, or before she left to catch the bus and eventually drive herself to school, we had prayer. This practice continues. Before I left Philadelphia, we had prayer in the lobby of her apartment building. Before she left for college, it became such a way of life in our home, that even our dog came downstairs, inserted one paw in each of our hands and became excited about it! If not against company policy, play it at your desk, in your workplace. Find instrumental versions of your favorite songs if necessary. Turn off the television. This was a hard one for me because I’ve always loved tv watching. However, now as a dear brother in Christ reminds me, with technology, we can all be recording artists, and watch our favorite shows at a later time in exchange for time with God. Keep a prayer journal and revisit it not only to add more persons, places and things to it, but to check off answered prayers and reflect upon the goodness of God!
Each of us, no matter, temporarily single or partnered, parenting or not, working at the beginning, middle or ending of our career, in ministry or still figuring out where God is leading, in school or not, living out our dream, or just discovering what it is has need to connect with the Creator of our soul. We are reminded in Philippians 4:8-9: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Who wouldn’t desire his peace in the world to which we live? Worship must be at the center of our activity. In him, we live, move and have our being (Acs 17:28). As we create time for everything and everyone else, it is imperative that we create time for ourselves with God! When was the last time you were gone worshipping?