Why Time Alone with God Matters.
by Rev. Jonathon Clinesmith
Associate Pastor of Discipleship Connections
We tend to buy into the “tyranny of the urgent.” That’s a phrase that comes from a little pamphlet written by Charles Hummel in 1994, and I think it perfectly describes a disease that many of us suffer from: jumbled priorities. The basic point Hummel makes is this:
WE GET SO BUSY DOING THE “URGENT” THINGS THAT WE OFTEN IGNORE THE IMPORTANT THINGS.
Urgency has its place, but we now live in a society where everything seems urgent. Gotta get the kids to soccer practice! Gotta make it to that meeting! Gotta meet that deadline at work! Gott do this, do that, do the other, and all RIGHT NOW! By the end of the day, we’ve been so busy doing the urgent things that we’ve forgotten to do what’s important.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING FOR ALL OF US IS OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.
But our urgency even keeps us from that a lot of the time. We’re so spent that by the end of the day all we can do is offer up a short fleeting prayer, maybe. The Bible just spends time collecting dust on our bookshelves.
Nobody had more demands placed on his time than Jesus, and yet he found time to pursue his relationship with God.
In the Gospels we see Jesus leaving early in the mornings to go to quiet or deserted places to pray. We see him missing the boat to pray, only catching up with his Disciples because unlike them he can walk on water. We even see him going off to pray before he is crucified.
I think most Christians can read about “being like Christ” in Philippians 2 and assume that means we’re supposed to be generally nice people. But it’s so much more than that! It means caring about the things Jesus cared about, and Jesus didn’t care about anything more than loving God and loving people.
IF YOU TRULY LOVE SOMEONE, SPENDING TIME WITH THEM IS A MUST. WHICH IS WHY WE, LIKE JESUS, MUST FIND A WAY TO GET AWAY.
The early church got this idea better than we do today. There were even these guys called the Desert Fathers who made getting away to be with God their sole purpose in life. They would literally just walk into the wilderness and talk to God.
Now, I’m not saying every modern Christian needs to do this kind of thing today. (Some might.) But we do need to make the important things important. November 8th and 9th we will be going on a spiritual retreat. We will spend that time AWAY from the world, taking a break from the urgent things. We will also be learning how to play TAG.
TAG stands for “time alone with God.” It may sound complicated and hard to make spending time alone with God a priority, but we’re going to figure out how to do it together. Don’t let the urgency of life distract you from connecting to the source of all love, joy, and peace.
Chapel Hill's Retreat will be led by Rev. Ben Williams, author of Forty Days in the Sierra Wilderness. The cost will be $80 and includes the book, accomodation, travel and meals. The retreat will be held at St. Francis in the Woods. You may sign up in the Great Hall, or send an email to Jonathon through the website HERE. Additional details will follow, but you can reserve your spot now ...