Special Times Take Time
This morning, I find myself missing my two sons. They are in their thirties now and have their own families, careers, travel schedules, social events and other activities that demand their time and energy. We get together with them as often as we can, and it’s a blessing they both live close enough for us to spend time together. I cherish the time I have with them, even if it’s a brief visit, a phone call or a text message.
Of course, our heavenly Father loves me even more than I love my own sons. That’s very hard to get my head around, but I believe that it’s true. There are many things that speak to that truth: the cross and His mercy, grace, patience, forgiveness and the promises He makes available in His Word. I often have this mental picture of God the Father running in my direction, much like the father of the lost son in the parable Jesus shares in Luke 15:11-32. Often, when I’m “too busy” to spend time with Him, or I choose not to lean on Him for help when temptation is present, or even when I’m a little preoccupied with my own projects and lifestyle, when I need the Father, He is not only always there, He is running toward me with open arms.
As I miss spending time with my sons, I can’t help but think perhaps the heavenly Father has been missing me this week. Yes, I attended church service on Sunday; I led a Bible Study Tuesday morning; I have even prayed for friends who are in need of prayer. But, have I really given God the Father any quality time? There were many times when my sons were still living at home that they would be in the same house, but we weren’t really spending time together. But there were those times when we would be on a boat together or on a pond bank, or the many times we would just play catch…we would talk a bit, but also we would just really be together. Usually, when playing catch, there would be several minutes of hearing nothing but a baseball sail through the air and leather popping. I believe that’s what God wants from us. Sure, He hears our prayers when we rush out of the house and pray as we drive to a meeting, or when we hear bad news and sincerely whisper Jesus’ name for help. He hears the hurried prayers, the whispers, the cries for help and even the whining and complaining. But, I believe He really cherishes the quiet time when He has all of our attention.
I’m reminded of the story found in Luke 10:38-42 of Mary and Martha opening their home up to Jesus and His disciples; Mary was all about just sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to what He had to say. Martha, meanwhile, was “distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.” Martha missed the blessing of the quiet time of being alone and totally connected with Jesus. When Martha complained about doing all the work while Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet and enjoying spending time with Him, Jesus said to Martha, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it wont be taken away from her.”
If Jesus was here physically with me, I think He would say, “Keith, you’re very busy and distracted, let’s go out and play a little catch and just enjoy each other’s company.” And, that time would be very special. We can have those times with Him in quiet places, if we choose to take the time. I don’t know about you, but that’s exactly what my life needs.