Monday, November 6, 2017
With four boys now living in my home I have found myself to be increasingly “popular” in a manner I have not experienced before. Each of them is asking me—daily—for time to be alone with me. They make it abundantly clear that they want to individually and privately go with me to town, to McDonald’s, to the gym, to the movies, fishing, etc. Even as I am writing these musings, I am with the seven year old who has demanded that he stay with me until he falls asleep; he has informed me that he plans on missing school tomorrow so that he can spend the entire day with me in the office.
Why they want to spend private time with me might have something to do with sibling rivalry, I guess, but I recall having the same hopes with my own father. I delighted in spending private, solitary time with him no matter what it was that we were doing. It simply did not matter what we did——just being alone with him was what I craved.
When the boys are with me, one-on-one, we converse and share in a manner we cannot when all five of us are together. The “posturing” and being careful of saying the right or wrong thing is removed—the boys can be honest and speak from their own minds—and I can respond heart to heart. I can say things that won’t embarrass them when they are alone and they are far more gentle and (seemingly) sincere when they are not in the company of their siblings.
I suppose the same can be said spiritually. There’s a need for corporate worship to be sure. We were created and “wired” to worship and to congregate together with other “sons and daughters” of Adam and Eve. As a matter of fact, Christian fellowship is essential for our development and growth into the kind of men and women we are destined in Christ to become! But there is another relationship that is even more important: My personal, intimate relationship with God and the time with Him as His special child. I yearn for that time with Him; I seek it and make plans for it and suffer when it has been denied to me by events or surprises! I cover my time with Him privately and totally alone with Him where He can speak to me and I can respond to Him as is only possible in private encounters. I would argue that any man or woman who has heard Him speak would testify that is nearly always when he/she is alone with the Almighty—never in a crowd.
Why then do we shrink away from being alone with God? Because there is no excuse when He speaks our name and calls us to a higher place….to give up some childish way…to denounce some godless pastime or habit. In a crowd we can hide. But in a private, intimate conference with Him there’s no way to get “confused” about what He has spoken.
Please pray that this summer more youth and children might be yearn for time alone with Him—the lover of their souls.