Good morning, God, I’m so gra– (excuse me, God).
“You can have a snack after lunch.”
I’m so grateful for th– (just a second, God).
“Your shoes are in the laundry room.”
I’m so grateful for this time we ha– (sorry for the interruption, God).
“They’re there. Moooove things.”
I’m so grateful for the time we have together to– (God, I think we’ll have to continue this lat–).
“No, you are not old enough to change baby’s poopy diaper. I’M COMING!”
Complete sentences. What a luxury.
This was one of the first things my friends commented on when I suddenly became a mother through the miracle of adoption at the age of thirty-one. We used to spend hours talking each week about the great mysteries of life. I was a highly focused conversationalist - a sincere listener who was rarely distracted.
Now? Well, I am still a sincere listener – I am continually listening for the sounds and (of greater concern) the non-sounds of my three children whenever I am on the phone. Frankly, I think I miss half of what my friends say and it can take minutes to complete a single sentence if I do not forget what it was we were talking about in the first place.
In addition to giving me more empathy for those who live with attention-deficit disorders, this new chronically interrupted era of life has provided an opportunity for me to reconsider how I nurture relationships – with my husband, with my children, with my friends, and especially with my God.
Specifically, the new era revealed a weakness: I was too dependent on shared words, on well-formed sentences, on neat and tidy blocks of time.
The last dozen years have affirmed an encouraging reality: intimacy with God is not on hold, waiting for me to control my environment and carve out serene aromatic spaces. Intimacy with God is not on pause until I can complete sentences and listen without interruptions.
Each minute of every loud, distracting day is pregnant with potential for intimacy if I can simply and intentionally live it with God.
Being with God was – and still is – the first priority of a disciple’s job description:
Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve – designating them apostles – that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons. Mark 3:13-15
The Gospels record Jesus’ conversations and teachings. However, the printed page cannot convey what a 24/7 camera would have captured. Most of Jesus’ three years with the disciples was spent not in deep ponderings but in daily proximity. They simply experienced life side by side, walking together, sitting together, working together, and consciously being near one another.
Right now, this same Jesus is with us. With or without interruptions. With or without words.
As we awaken each morning, God issues us a personal invitation to intimacy.
For Discussion and Reflective Journaling
I am always with you. Psalm 73:23
One. In this season of your life, how much can you relate to this devotional’s starting prayer?
Two. What adjectives would you use to describe your structured devotional life?
Three. Jesus certainly set the example of private prayer times. But he also set an example that is less quantifiable: he consciously lived each moment connected to, and aware of, his Father God. Spend a few minutes meditating on the following statements that Jesus made:
If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. John 14:23
Remain in me, and I will remain in you. John 15:4
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. John 15:9
Four. Consider the point made in the devotional about how Jesus and his disciples spent the majority of their time together. Make a conscious effort today to “see” Jesus with you, near you, in your daily life. Remember that he is with you while you are making your bed. Gratefully acknowledge his presence while you respond to an email. Smile at him as you are stuck in traffic.
Then throughout this coming week, intentionally increase your awareness that God is with you (and he is happy about it!).