Wasting Time with God

Photo by Brendan Scott

“Papa, Papa, wanna build blocks with me?” begged my three and a half year-old granddaughter, Addi.

“Sure,” I said and I meant it. I don’t get to see her enough, or her brother, Linc, or her mom and dad. I’d stand on my head in a bowl full of worms if she asked (Addi thinks I enjoy eating worms. Not sure where she got that idea). So, I ignored my knees and sat cross legged on the floor building blocks with her.

“Papa, Papa, wanna color with me?” was her next request.

“Absolutely!” I said, though I wasn’t good at coloring when I was a kid. All that staying in the lines stuff. Plus I was always in a hurry. Good coloring book art cannot be rushed.

“Papa, read me a story.”

“Papa, can I sit next to you?”

“Papa, wanna taste of my oatmeal?”

“Papa, let’s go on a hike.”

With each request there was a good reason to say, “Maybe later” or some other dodge us adults use to avoid being child-like again.

Testing my skills

Instead I dropped everything I was doing or thinking and dove into her world. How natural and good it felt to immerse myself in the simple worlds of my grandchildren. I was born for this, I thought.

Some might say I was wasting valuable time. With the world needing saving from global warming, Republicans, financial ruin, Democrats, and all nature of other evils, how could I sit and build blocks that 15 month-old Linc was bound to come along and topple? All the while laughing in his deep baby voice, “huh, huh, huh, huh.”

Later Addi asked, “Papa, draw a heart for me. I don’t know how.”

We sat wrinkled elbow to tiny elbow at the kitchen table and I drew hearts and she colored them in. As I watched her color, I marveled at how much she wanted to be with me. And how much I wanted to be with her. There next to her I experienced that strange “peace that passes all understanding” and that defies description.

Then God whispered, “See how much you love being with your grandkids? That’s how much I enjoy being with you.”*

I looked down at my heart Addi was coloring and wondered at the timing of God’s whisper. There was my heart laid out for God and everybody to see, poorly rendered, imperfect, but mine and real. Being colored in by someone I would die for. I am speaking metaphorically here, and not. And God chose that moment to speak. To remind me how much God desires my measly, distracted, infinitesimal presence. Desires me and enjoys me.

The rest of the week I asked God:

Abba, wanna go mountain biking with me?”

Abba, wanna read with me.”

“Abba, would you like a taste of my omelet?”

“Abba, let’s hang out.”

“Abba, sit here next to me. I’m afraid.”

And to my surprise God dropped everything he was doing and joined me, pointing out magpies along the trail while biking, directing my eyes to a deer antler shed while hunting, drawing close and assuaging my fear and worry. Just Being there.

I shared this story with a friend and he said, “Yeah, someone once told me I needed to ‘waste time with God.’”

Was that what I was doing? I wondered. If so, it sure felt good. I think I’m going to do more of it.

*I hope you know I didn’t actually hear words and I quaver at putting words in God’s mouth. But it was a strong feeling and since Jesus’ name in Hebrew means “God-with-us” I think I’m on safe ground here.

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Categories: adventure, Art, authenticity, belonging, bible conversation, Christianity, Eugene C. Scott, Fun, God, God Sightings, happiness, Living Spiritually, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

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18 thoughts on “Wasting Time with God

  1. caroline

    Good stuff! Thanks for sharing

  2. Georgie-ann

    Good words. Good feelings. Good thoughts. Good. This is how He makes us “whole”. Wholesome. Wholesomeness. Holy. Joined with Him. There is nothing to fear in the flow of His Goodness, His Love,… but apart from Him, it is probably quite normal (and even a little bit sensible!) to have the warning alarms of fear.

    Psalm 16:11 “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; … ”

    John 3:30 “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

    1 John 4:18 ” … perfect love casts out fear … ”

    Acts 4:10 “let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole.”

    • Geargie-ann: Thanks for coming over to my Living Spiritually blog. Fear is normal without God. Too bad so many of us with-God live in fear too.

      • Georgie-ann

        But isn’t this just a sign that we (all) (always) need more of Him?,… that we need to find a way of “entering in” more deeply? — not saying that there is some simple way to figure out how to “get there from here” — but He promises that if we seek, we will find,… if we ask (and keep on asking) that He will answer us,… finding more of God is not an “automatic and guaranteed” process or system,… if we rend our hearts (rather than our garments),… if we will truly sacrifice some of our automatic (but ultimately vain) worldly fascinations,… if we cry out to Him with all of our fearful, vulnerable and tortured being, He will answer us, and make a new connection with us, and set us up as with “hinds’ feet on high places”,… (thank you, Hannah Hurnard),…

        Matthew 7:7 [ Keep Asking, Seeking, Knocking ] “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

        Joel 2:13 “Rend your hearts and not your garments and return to the Lord, your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in loving-kindness; and He revokes His sentence of evil [when His conditions are met].”

        Jeremiah 33:3 “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”

        2 Samuel 22:34 “He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet: and setteth me upon my high places.”

        Psalm 18:33 “He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places.”

        Habakkuk 3:19 “The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.”

        I have understood from early “training” years in spiritual life, that from our land-locked, earthly-limited-vision position we are always going to be needing to purposefully “seek spiritual breakthroughs”,… that even if “saved” we don’t necessarily have “all there is to find” in God,… this IS a very normal “entry level” condition, but not an excuse to try to rationalize getting comfy with a status quo relationship of an illusory “balance” between “a regular life” and God,… to find more of God — usually through suffering in difficult circumstances (whether it feels like it’s “in faith” or not), or voluntarily forgoing distracting earthly pastimes and preoccupations in order to make more room and time for God — we often need to move some “not really God” priorities (false idols, ego?) out of the way,… emptying something (we may not even know what), so that He can fill it,…

        I feel as if “modern” Christian trends tend to seriously downplay the element of our own personal needs to sacrifice “something”/(anything) of this worldly life — (in order to experience more of Him) — unless it’s in “giving to get”,… or attributing such a personal windfall of blessings as coming to us directly from Christ’s own sacrifice and “doting love” for us, that we’ll just naturally be kept “so busy” processing it all, that we just won’t have time for anything else,… ever,… but really,… what about us?

        Christ’s sacrifice does indicate to us part of what we, in seeking to become more “like Him”, will find waiting for us in a spiritual walk,… it is sometimes referred to as the death of the flesh nature (which can be sort of slow and painful and “not fun”),… (and some describe experiencing a “dark night of the soul”),… not so much to be undertaken in an imitative false masochism (monkey see-monkey try-to-do type of thing), as in purposing a willingness to yield anything that blocks us from having a full relationship with Christ/God,… no matter what He would ask,…

        I think the bottom-line is: our will vs His will,… or our will becoming more “like” His will,… all the devotion, study, or mental reasons in the world do not necessarily effect a change in the fundamental will,… prayer may definitely help,… and true “waiting on God”,… I believe that this is what He is referring to in:

        Matthew 5:30 “And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.”

        I remember telling Him, in retrospect, that what I had been unable to do on my own (“cut off my own right hand”, figuratively speaking), He not only was willing and able to do, but actually did(!), when I truly released absolutely everything about myself and my life to Him,… the process wasn’t anything I would call fun, but the results were great,… He surely can be trusted to “do all things well”!

        Mark 7:37 “And were beyond measure astonished, saying, ‘He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.'”

  3. Georgie-ann

    Isaiah 11:6 “ … a little child shall lead them.”

    … such wonderful gifts that God gives us,…

    • Georgie-ann

      As I’ve been resting — enjoying “wasting time with God” — today, savoring the moments, peacefully breathing His air and being thankful for it, blessing it as it comes in and as it goes back out, I had the thought that I’ve come to enjoy His presence so much in these ways, that now I don’t have nearly as much time and energy (or interest) to waste running around doing the “world’s” things,… and here I thought I was just “getting old!”,… what a relief!,… thanks, Eugene! (-:

  4. I almost cried when I read this Daddy! Good job!

  5. Katie Slockers

    Loved this! Cried while I read it!

  6. Julie

    beautiful

  7. Linda

    Omigosh. I think you’re on to Something Important here. Eyes watering. Thank you sir.

  8. I love this post. The blog & our conversation were a huge reminder for me. I forget too often that God invites me to waste time with Him. I’m going to try and bookend more of my sentences with, “Abba, want to… with me?”

  9. Holland

    Thanks. Great stuff.

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