It’s been a crazy week. I know, everyone’s crazy. The major high holiday is only a week away, so everyone’s scurrying around stores, scouring their cookbooks for cookie swap recipes, and surrendering credit card information to Amazon. I’ve been crazy for a different reason. I was working on this
and the set-up
You see, December is not just the blessed Lord’s birth-month; it’s also my blessed daughter’s birth-month. Both daughters. So we party all month, because in my family, birthdays are a BIG deal. I know some people who think birthdays are just like any other day. I respect that…although I think secretly inside they’re dying to have everyone surround them with birthday cheer.
I believe birthdays are your national holiday. You get one day out of the year that’s totally yours. Your day for to have a pound of bacon for breakfast. Your day to have Happy Birthday sung to you anytime you eat food. Your day to pick the show to watch. Your day.
While I was busy making the girls day special, I didn’t have much time for anything else. Sure the house got cleaned (because our fabulous guests wouldn’t enjoy being captured by cobwebs), but I neglected actually playing with the children I was celebrating, along with the husband who celebrated making the children. They understood; it was birthday party week.
But they weren’t the only neglected relationships. God was neglected. He had moved to my speed dating cue. In Just Trust God, I talked about how we need to know the God we’re supposed to trust. That it’s vital to daily dig into His word to know Him more intimately. There was no digging happening this past week. I barely even showed up to chat with God. It went something like this
“Hey God. Thought I’d have some time to talk while I roll fondant for the cake.”
“I wondered where you’ve been.”
“Well I’ve been here, getting ready for this party. Stupid fondant is sticking again! Why is it so sticky? Anyway, thanks God for the girls you gave me. You’re pretty generous.”
“You’re welcome. Too bad you’re too distracted by them to spend some time with me. I’m also a jealous God.”
“I know, but at least I’m talking to you. And I’ve read this Bible verse a couple of times this week. It’s on my stove so I think about you everyday.”
“Are you sure you’re thinking about me with this one, or thinking about what you need to think about.”
“Wait, what’d you say? My rolling-pin just broke. Maybe we can pick this up later. I’ve gotta find some duct tape.”
That was the extent of me intimately connecting with God for the last couple of weeks. It felt like speed dating. I sat down with Him for a couple of minutes, talked briefly and shallowly to Him, and then quickly moved to the next task.
I also glanced at Bible verses posted around the house, attempting to recall God’s character. But again, they were brief glimpses and a passing thought before I was onto paper macheing Chase the Rescue Bot.
How am I to know a God I only speed date?
I wish I could say my speed dating is reserved for birthday party weeks. That it’s only because I’m distracted by little sweeties. But I’m too often distracted by my sweeties…and a dirty house…and facebook…and *sigh*, writing blog posts about how we need to connect with God more.
Sadly, speed dating is usually my go to connection with God. A verse here, a prayer there, and of course church on Sunday…where I spend 98% of my time wrangling 3 tornadoes in the chairs. I’m more and more convicted that
Speed dating God does not build an intimate, trusting relationship with God.
Imagine if your entire relationship with a loved one was built via speed dating. Each day you’d spend 3 – 5 minute chunks of time with them where you gather some basic facts. If you did this day after day after day, you’d eventually get to know them…when you’re 90 years old! And maybe you’d finally trust them when you were 85.
Speed dating God does not sustain a relationship with Him.
Luckily, He sustains the relationship. I come to the table uninterested and saying distracted comments. I can barely sustain a prayer sometimes because I’m so preoccupied. Not only am I speed dating, but I’m a lame speed dater! Thank the Lord that he still pursues me. He does not quit on me. I find myself praying as David did in Psalm 51
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
God has answered YES every time to that prayer. He sustains me, even through my lackluster speed dating. The moments when I do sit down and wade in his word are life to me. My heart aches with wonder of who God is and what He has done for me. He reveals meaning and connection for my life. He reveals Himself to me. When I walk away from those encounters, I wonder why I would ever just speed date God.
Why settle for a crumb when I can have the whole cake?
Because He gives His whole self to us in Jesus. That’s what Christmas is all about.
How do you find time to go beyond speed dating God?