Let's Get Giddy
Earlier this week I was at a local coffee shop working on a sermon, and about halfway through my first cup of coffee a young guy sat down next to me, pulled out his laptop, and started typing away. A few minutes later, he got a call on his cell phone. He answered, said a few words (loudly enough for those of us around him to hear), then said, “Ok, I'm in the middle of something here, gotta run, talk to you later”, and hung up. A few minutes later, he got another call, and went through the same routine. This went on for about 30 minutes, with the guy getting roughly 5 calls during that time. With each one, he kept it short and to the point, and then quickly excused himself so that he could get back to whatever he was doing on his laptop.
Then a strange thing happened: he got a call, answered with an excited, “Hi!! How are you?”, got up, walked outside, and proceeded to talk for at least 20 minutes. When he came back in, he looked like a completely different person. He had a big smile on his face, his posture was relaxed, and he was almost giddy as he packed up his laptop and headed for the door. I have to admit that I really wanted to chase after him to ask who the phone call was from, because it obviously had a real impact on his attitude.
After he left, I kept thinking about what I had witnessed, and it occurred to me that this guy presented a good analogy for how I can treat my conversations with God. Unfortunately, all-too-often I can approach God with an attitude that’s like, “Hi God - here are my requests - I’m in the middle of something - gotta go.” But then every now and then, I actually take the time to excuse myself from the busyness of life, step away from distractions, and really have a heart-to-heart with God. When I'm done, my heart is lifted, my mood is better, my soul is nourished, and I'm ready to face whatever the day holds. And I’m always left wondering why I don't have those heart-to-hearts with God more often.
Jesus obviously knew the importance of extended times of conversation with God, because He regularly withdrew from the challenges of His life to have them. Luke 6:12 describes one of those times like this: “One day Jesus went up on a mountain to pray, and He prayed to God all night.” Jesus knew that we can't starve our souls - but when we have quick, one-way conversations with God, that's exactly what we're doing. We’re not stepping away from the busyness and distractions of life to let God talk to us, and encourage us, and pour out His love on us. And honestly, this lack of soul nourishment doesn’t make a lot of sense. We spend all kinds of time and energy making sure we get the right nourishment for our physical bodies, and the reality is that our bodies will end up six feet under ground while our souls will go on in eternity. If we put it in that perspective, common sense tells us that we should probably spend more time nourishing the part of us that will last forever.
So my challenge for all of us is that we get our priorities straight. Today, let’s excuse ourselves from the hustle and bustle of life, and spend some time with God - letting Him nourish our souls as we listen to His voice.