People who need quality time to talk to God and people who can give quality time to others and want it in return still have periods of time when they can’t have the quality time they desire.
I have a high score on quality time but I have had a few experiences where I could not have this special communion with God.
You know the times; times of mental uproar.
I have had a few over the years.
My usual morning is when I find a quiet place to be with my coffee. My son is 30 years old now and he has his own family in Chicago. My wife loves to sleep later than I do. So I am in the quiet house. Me and God.
Yet this quality time with God is sometimes not right because I am in the middle of a conflict with someone, several loose ends of life are hanging and I can’t tie them up, I have done something I am ashamed of, I am nervous about some upcoming event or someone has sent me a message that was disconfirming and my fragile ego is bruised. You get the point [and my list of mental upsets could continue going on and on].
I can’t settle my mind.
My prayer time is unfocused.
My prayer is what my wife calls “chasing rabbits.” You know what I mean. Just like a beagle let loose in a large overgrown field, I see the rabbit and I chase it for a while and then another one pops up and I chase it for a while etc.
I need a dose of Ritalin; I have a hyperactive mind.
One morning I was suffering from this but something unusual happened. I remember the morning, where I was in the house, and the very unusual time of day. It was 2:00 a.m. and I was very upset. I had awakened and the bad thoughts of the morning popped into my mind and I could not go back to sleep. After tossing and turning for about 40 minutes I just gave up and got up and started my day super early.
I got the coffee hot and headed to an easy chair but I was not sleepy. I was wide awake and I had a very unsettled pattern of thought.
I found myself trying to pray but I could not get my prayer to be “strong.” I had fragments, I had crazy thoughts, I had inappropriate thoughts, and I had a mess going on in my head.
Then I heard it.
“Be still and know that I am God.”
I knew what it meant.
And it happened.
My mind quit racing. The competing thoughts stopped. My body relaxed. God had given me the reprieve from my anguish, a reprieve that I sorely needed.
It was amazing.
Since that morning, I have had a few more times when I felt His presence so I have studied the reference which is Psalms 46:10. The context is the writer of the Psalm is seeking God in times of trouble. There is fighting and for the people to see God, the fighting must cease. When we trust God and His plan, the warring will stop and God will manifest Himself.
In the context of my life, the mental warring did stop. I knew my little problems were being handled by a God that could take care of all that I was concerned about. In short, God was telling me “I got this.”
In Chapter 3, Dr. Chapman tells us of Greta, God, Jesus, Mary and George Meuller, trying to convince us that quality time is valuable in our fast-paced world by providing examples. Still, to have quality time, one has to give God [or another person] undivided attention and that is very hard today.
Let me tell you, it is worth it if you can do it.
Two a.m. from God to Dave “I got this.” I went back to bed. I went back to sleep.