We sat in her dining room and discussed my schedule. Meetings, Bible study, prayer group, praise team rehearsals, service projects…and that was just my “free time.” I also worked 40 hours a week and still had house and yard work to do.
“You can’t keep going at this pace” she said.
“I’m fine,” I countered. “I find pockets of time for myself.”
“What about time with God? If you’re empty, you can’t pour yourself into others.”
She made me pull out my calendar.
“I want you to “X” out three days in the next few months.”
“You’re going on a date!”
“First you say spend more time with God, now you’re filling my calendar with dates?”
“The date is WITH God. A whole day together…no electronics.”
I started to argue that we spend every day together. As a believer, the Holy Spirit lives in me, always present…but I knew the truth. I am not always present. Not always engaged.
I needed to spend an intentional day with God.
It took a few minutes, but I managed to mark three Saturdays with a bright red “X”.
Even before the ink dried, the questions surfaced.
What would I say to Him for hours?
Have you ever been on a date when the conversation dries up? You exchange pleasantries, discuss a few “safe” subjects, and then…silence. Awkward!
And no electronics? What if my kids, or someone from work or church needed me?
Eventually, the first Saturday came.
I packed a bag with my Bible, devotional, journal, and some lunch, then drove to the park.
I started off with a long, leisurely walk around the lake to clear my mind.
The breeze was refreshing and brought with it the sweet smell of honeysuckle. I stopped to watch robins, jays, scissortail swallows, even a heron. I listened to the lap of the waves on the shoreline. I became keenly aware of all that surrounded me.
Thanking God for the variety in His creation, a hymn, “This Is My Father’s World, came to mind and I sang…
”This is my Father’s world, and to my listening ears, all nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.”
Back at the car, I gathered my books and headed for the pavilion by the water. I read my devotional, looked up the references and prayed over what I read. I journaled my thoughts then read and prayed some more.
When I headed to the car for lunch, a sun shower popped up. I closed my eyes and listened to the drumming of the drops on the roof and let it lull me to sleep.
I felt guilty when I first woke up. I was supposed to be spending intentional time with God.
But He impressed on me that He was giving me a gift I never gave myself – rest
That first date lasted about six hours. I talked to God and listened for His instruction. I praised Him in song and rested in His peace. There were no awkward silences.
When you love someone, you’re as comfortable in the quiet as you are in conversation.<<Click to Tweet
And when I turned my phone back on I realized the world survived without me. No messages, missed calls, or texts.
I look forward to these dates now. My soul longs for undisturbed time with its Maker. Whether I have just a few hours or a whole day, I seize the opportunity whenever I can.
Why don’t you plan your date with God today?
Be intentional. Whether it’s an hour or a full day, mark it on your calendar. Guard that time against “to-do’s.”
Find a friend willing to take the kids for a few hours (offer to do the same for her) – and don’t use the time to clean the house. Dust bunnies can wait!
Take a vacation day if a Saturday isn’t possible.
Start small. A lunch hour spent with God in your car can do wonders. Just start.
Find a quiet place. A park. Your room. God will meet you wherever you are.
Don’t know what to say on your date with God?
- Start by acknowledging who He is. Praise Him.
- What is weighing heavy on your heart? Confess it.
- What are you grateful for? Thank Him.
- What requests do you have for yourself and others? Ask Him.
- And always, always, always, take time to be silent and listen to what He speaks to your heart.
I guarantee, a date with God will be your best date ever!
Have you ever had a date with God? We’d love to hear about your experience.
Toni Campbell is a mother of three counting her new son-in-law! Employed as the Creative Services Director for a New Jersey radio station, she is also a voice-over artist, blogger, and director of CommunityConnections, the outreach ministry of her church. Toni has written devotions for christiandevotions.us and The Quiet Hour. Her passion is showing God’s love to others through practical acts of service.