Making Time for God
Text messages, phone calls, Facebook updates, classes, clubs, homework, new friends, emotional challenges—each of us have hundreds of things vying for our attention every day. I often find that I am too busy to take time for myself—there are too many things to do, people to see, experiences to have, deadlines to meet. Of course caring for myself naturally would be the least of my concerns.
Most of the time I can pretty successfully push aside my exhaustion, stress, and sometimes chaotic emotions, in order to do all of the things I feel that I need to do; but, I have found that it is only a matter of time until my personal needs catch up and refuse to be ignored.
I wonder if there is a reason for this? Perhaps, I am in need of something more that will sustain me throughout each week.
Fortunately, Jesus demonstrates the solution for us: human flourishing requires consistent relationship with God. Even Jesus, though He is God, had to take time away from what He was doing in order to recharge and prepare for what was coming next. The Gospel of Luke tells us that Jesus “would often withdraw to the wilderness to pray” (Luke 5:16). Some translations say that Jesus withdrew to “desolate” or “lonely” places. Regardless of which translation we use, one thing is clear: Jesus regularly took time to be alone and commune with God as a way of rejuvenating Himself. It makes me wonder if we might actually be selling ourselves short when we don’t make time for God, no matter how busy we may seem to be. Maybe spending time connecting with God is actually one of the most practical things we can do.
In my own life, I have seen how God keeps drawing me back—sometimes gently and other times dramatically. Maybe I had a particularly busy quarter with way more work than I seem to have time for and too many obligations to fulfill. Once again, the daily time with God I want to have becomes more of a monthly thing. I have time for everything except simply sitting and talking with my Father. It’s in these times that I start to feel my need for God because without regular interaction I become separated from the source of Living Water that God promises to be for us.
Each of us are thirsty people who have needs that must be met, but there is only one Source that fully satisfies. As I have taken time with making God a priority each day—not simply on Sunday—I can see how He not only changes my heart towards Him and other people, but also rejuvenates and sustains me in tangible ways.
One of the most important things I have learned in college is to recognize the things that I need. God created each of us to need more than what we can provide for ourselves: we also need Him.