Recently my wife went to the Ladies’ Retreat at Pine Haven Camp in Northern Minnesota, leaving on Friday morning and returning Sunday afternoon. On the Saturday she was gone I decided to take our six-year-old Micah to the Camp Snoopy amusement park at the Mall of America for a “guy’s day out” while his mom was away.
We rode the rides, laughed a lot, and had an altogether good time. We were driving down the freeway on our way home when I asked Micah, “Do you miss your mom?” He replied, “I know I’m supposed to, but I was having so much fun I forgot to miss her.”
Does that ever happen in your relationship with God? Have you ever found yourself so caught up in the living of your life that God isn’t really a part of it anymore? Do you ever get so busy with kids, parents, school, work, or even church, that you find yourself drawing far away from God to the point that you’ve even forgotten to miss Him while you’ve been away?
When I speak to people whose relationship with God isn’t what it once was, they often give an “I know I’m supposed to, but…” kind of response. It is usually in the form of “I know I should read the Bible…pray…go to Sunday School…, etc…” People think that if they just adopt the right process, check off the items on a spiritual “To Do” list, and go through a particular ritual, everything will turn out okay. And while some of these things might be helpful, they ignore the most basic problem. When we are distanced from God, the gap is not shortened when we get ourselves more involved in spiritual activity, but instead, when we turn our lives back over to God.
Another way of putting it is this, God doesn’t want us to do more things to get His attention, He wants us to simply give Him ourselves. The prophet quoted God as saying, “I don’t want your sacrifices. I want you to know God; that’s more important than burnt offerings.” – Hosea 6:6 (NLT)
When we have forgotten to miss God, the most important thing that we can do is simply say to Him, “Father, I’ve been busy and in the midst of all that is now my life, I’ve left you in the background. Today I don’t bring You false promises of reading 20 chapters a day in my Bible, or praying for hours on end, but I do offer you myself for You to mold and make into the person You want me to become. Never let me let myself get in the way of our relationship.”
Do you think you can say that to God and mean it? It’s all so very simple, which is why we so often miss it. We want a grand scheme and a 5-point plan, but all God is looking for is people who want to know Him intimately. Are you one of them?