Recently, I enjoyed an afternoon that reminded me of sermons I have preached and invitations I have written about: In anticipation of a busy and prolonged time on the road, I set aside this particular afternoon to sit, to go for a walk, to reflect, to pray. I experienced what I have suggested to the listeners and readers that such a time-out would offer: refreshment, home-coming, connection – all the good things I deeply long for; all the good things I deeply need.
It’s sad and embarrassing: I do preach these things and therefore seem to truly believe in their value. Still, I fall short putting them into regular practice. Unless there is some tangible commitment, combined with some accountability, the business of life will take over, much like the thorns and thistles in Jesus’ parable.
Now, here’s another invitation to myself and you: 2018 is history in a few hours after posting this article – a good moment to revisit what we experienced.
I invite you to go for a walk or sit down with a cup of your favorite drink, and…
… experience a few moments of just enjoying God’s presence as he walks or sits with you; maybe the “few moments” should be quite some time (maybe a conversation emerges between you, and that may be all that needs to happen)
… ask the Holy Spirit to guide you as you think back about what has happened since January 1st:
- Revisit the moments where you sensed God’s joy as He looked at you, the really good times; what may God want to teach you?
- Revisit the dark moments where you may have felt alone and talk with God about them; what may God want to tell you?
… is there anything else you want to tell God? Is there anything else God may want to tell you?
I don’t assume that you spontaneously have time for what I just described. But if you see value in this exercise, how about setting aside a couple hours in your calendar before in the next days? I’m pretty sure you will not regret.