It has been an absolutely amazing seven weeks on sabbatical. I’m so grateful for a church that gives this gift to our pastors. There will be many stories and experiences I will share in the coming weeks, but one of the things that has stood out to me these past few weeks is how the Almighty God desires a personal relationship with me.
Often in the busyness of day-to-day life, I go through my daily prayer and Bible study time and then immediately head out the door to work. My time with the Lord tends to have an “end time” out of necessity because I have work responsibilities to tend to.
During this sabbatical time, I found myself lingering in God’s presence. One morning, with nowhere to go and no set time constraints, I was wrapping up my prayer and study time and heard a voice in my head say, “Nick, just five more minutes…” I knew it was God speaking to me and affirming to me how much He also enjoys our time together. It was beautiful and a great reminder to me that the Almighty God desires a personal relationship with me…with all of us!
As in all of our relationships, we sometimes have an agenda with our time. We laugh and we cry. We seek guidance and wisdom. We talk and we listen. However, sometimes in our relationships, we just find ourselves sitting quietly in each other’s presence, and it’s often in those moments when true intimacy is felt.
A few weeks ago, Liz and I found ourselves kid-less for the evening. We went on a date and grabbed a meal at a nice restaurant right on the water. It was a beautiful and peaceful environment. We had good drinks and good food, and spent twice as much time as we usually do on a dinner date. We had no agenda for our time other than just being together. I think our most intimate relationships need long, uninterrupted, no-agenda time every once in a while.
I know in the busyness of our lives we might not have time for a long-extended time with God every single day. But in these last few weeks, I’ve started to wonder what life would look like if I woke up every morning and drowsily checked my Bible instead of my phone, or email, or social media. I’ve started wondering what life would look like if I ended my day in personal worship and prayer instead of watching one more Netflix show.
“Just five more minutes…” Just five more minutes of sitting in the presence of my Almighty Creator. The One who knows everything there is to know about you and me…The One that desires a personal relationship with us!
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. (Rev. 3:20)
Come near to God and He will come near to you. (James 4:8)
Thank you all again for the great gift of sabbatical! I’m ready and excited to jump back in with you all this coming week.