Untouched nature. Ribnicko lake, Zlatibor mountain, Serbia. Shot taken just before sunrise at 5.55 AM. This is 6 exposure HDR image
In our house, my morning starts at 5:30 a.m. I have exactly 30 minutes to take my shower, get some hot tea, and take a deep breath before my children wake up.
I usually sit on the second stair in the still dim house and wait to hear the familiar beeping alarm that means they’ll be coming down the stairs soon to greet me. This is one of my favorite parts of the day. It’s my first glimpse of my children, after a night of absence. I hold them close, their little bodies still warm from the comfort of their beds. I rock them slightly, and I kiss the backs of their necks before passing them along to the morning.
We could sleep an extra 45 minutes in the mornings, but we dec
ided years ago to get up early enough to have time to spend with each other. It’s our time to relax, cuddle, and talk about what the new day will bring. I ask them every year if they’d rather sleep in, but they say no.
A Changing World
Sometimes we’re drawn to the world. Sometimes it looks beautiful to us and we see the hand of God in every aspect of our day. Other times the hand of sin and death is much more apparent, and we have to look a little harder to see through the haze that seems to cover our daily routine. Amidst His busy life of ministry, Jesus knew the value of retreat and meditation. He knew the value of making a conscious and determined effort to spend time with His Father.
Finding a Retreat
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!” (Mark 1:35).
Sound familiar? It’s hard to find a place where you can spend time alone with God and not have someone come looking for you. When Christ went out to the desert alone, the Bible says “The Spirit sent him” (Mark 1:12). Why do you suppose that was? Could it be that spending time alone with God is more of a necessity than a choice? Jesus retreated from His enemies, but He also retreated from His friends. He spent time alone. He rested. He meditated. He prayed.
Not to spend time alone with God is to miss out on the blessings He has prepared for us. It is to lose the direction and wisdom that might guide us more smoothly through our day. If we are too busy to find the time to separate and commune with God beside the still waters of prayer and meditation, we are entirely too busy.