Monday, February 25, 2008

Alone with God

Picking up on yesterday's discussion of time alone with God, I think it's worth emphasizing that we don't "find" time to build relationships with God or anyone else; we make the time. We in the twenty-first-century United States are frequently tempted to blame it for our free-time deficits: no one who lived three hundred years ago had to worry about keeping a Web site up to date, commuting fifty miles to work, or reading a hundred magazines and newly published books each year.

Granted that the time-off problem was once more a matter of fewer things taking longer to do (and most of us have moments when we'd gladly take that situation in exchange for the frenzied speed at which today's unlimited options assault our brains), the issue of people being "too busy for God" must have been common even in Moses's day. Why else would God have included "take a weekly day off" in the Ten Commandments?

An outdoor retreat, incidentally, has two key advantages: human-originated distractions are limited, and reminders of God as Creator are everywhere. Jesus Himself told us to meditate on the birds and the wildflowers as means of directing our thoughts to God. The ancients were stirred to worship through observing the animals, the stars, and the whole of nature.

Even if all the "nature" you have access to is a neighborhood park with two trees and one bench, we owe it to God to at least get away from home and business (where reminders of upcoming tasks surround us on every side) once in a while. Unless we learn to forget about "all I have to do" long enough to concentrate on God, we may never hear Him telling us what we really should be doing.

I set aside my hopes and fears,
My struggles in life's daily fray,
My aches and pains and all my tears,
And all my dread of coming years,
To be alone with God today.

I left the city's noisy roar,
And went where nature reigns supreme--
Where birds are free to sing and soar,
And chattering squirrels are heard, and more--
To sit alone with God and dream.

The Lord of all is patience pure:
He rarely shouts above the crowd,
But will our base neglect endure
Until life's stress becomes so sure
We come alone to Him, heads bowed.

For only then, in quietness,
With no clock's tick to tempt the ear,
Can we be free for Him to bless,
And speak His words of loveliness--
Alone with God, where we can hear.

Then only can we truly pray
In reverence and humility,
And worship Him as best we may,
And yield to Him each coming day--
Then only are we truly free.

Today I sat with God alone,
From sunrise till the west grew red,
Then turned, refreshed, my path toward home,
Heart filled with heavenly music's tone,
And strengthened for the days ahead.

1 comment:

KEVIN SCOTT COLLIER HOMEPAGE said...

Very inspirational piece, Katherine. Thank you!
- Kevin Collier