How does that old song go? “Summertime, and the living is easy…” Well, not this summer! Somehow, the calendar is suddenly full. Pete is working full time, and trying to sort out his medical bills and insurance payments from his heart “event” earlier this year. My schedule is packed as well. We desperately need time—with one another, and with God together.
Pete and I love road trips. When we fly, we miss everything between our home and our destination, but with a road trip we can turn off at every interesting sign. (I particularly like brown signs, as they usually imply some sort of natural feature or wildlife refuge.)
Ten years ago, during a particularly stressful time in our lives, Pete gave me the gift of a month-long road trip, all by myself. I had the luxury of wandering wherever God led, while he took care of everything at home. (Yet another reason I adore my husband!)
Come Away with Me
How much time have you spent alone with God lately? In the midst of our busy schedules, it’s easy to overlook His still, small voice calling out to us for attention. I know I find it extra hard to set aside a regular date with God when my calendar is full of camping trips, hikes, and other summer activities that disrupt my routine.
Sometimes, what we really need is a kick-start, a prolonged time to really quiet ourselves and listen. When Pete has been traveling a lot, we try to plan an overnight get-away aimed at reestablishing our connection with one another. It takes more than just an hour or two at a local restaurant. Longer absences need longer dates. It’s the same way with God. When we’re extra busy, that’s when we especially need to set aside time with Him.
Dating God: Personal Retreats
Last week, Jeremy (see previous post) made the following statement: “For a while now though I’ve felt like I need to go camping alone for a few days and do nothing but fast, read the Word, and pray. The idea just hit me outta nowhere once, and it pops back into my mind every once in a while.”
My first thought was, “Wow, God wants to spend time with you! How awesome is that?” I sure want to encourage him to follow through on this. Here’s why:
For centuries, Christians have taken themselves out of the busy-ness of everyday life and “retreated” to a quiet place in order to reconnect with God. Jesus set the standard for this. All throughout the gospels, we’re told that Jesus went away to a lonely place to pray. Sometimes He invited the disciples to go with him.