"As the deer longs for the flowing streams, so my soul longs for you my God." - Psalm 42
A Facebook intermediary connected me with Beverly, a dear college friend and symbol of so much of who I am – someone I'd not seen for more than 20 years. As Beverly and I reconnected by phone, it was like old times.
Suddenly, I realized that underneath the daily drone of busyness, I've always missed her . . . missed us . . . and so had she.
After hanging up the phone, I thought of the following text and wept . . .
"As the deer longs for the flowing streams, so my soul longs for you my God."
Not only do our souls long for God when we neglect intentional time with God, but God also longs for us. Hear the poet in the Song of Songs 5:8,
Swear to me, daughters of Jerusalem!
If you find my love
You must say that
I am in the fever of love.
When we take time to be alone with God, in prayer, in meditation, not just taking a hike in nature but setting aside time for a hike in nature with God, something different happens. Not only does God's heart dance for joy at your and my intentional journey that dares reach beyond itself toward the ineffable God, but so does our own heart.
Spend five intentional minutes with God today: in prayer, Bible study, a nature walk or run, lovemaking, yoga, the rosary, golf—whatever . . . . Intentionally set aside 5 minutes with God today. See what happens. It's not what you do, but that you do it intentionally that matters. (Here's a bonus: Do the same for the one or someone you love today—take five intentional minutes!) I'm expecting miracles! Are you?
O God, perhaps without realizing it, I've been longing for intentional time alone with you. Funny, I never thought about how much you might have actually missed me, too. I don't want to wait until a crisis brings us together. Help me set aside five intentional minutes . . . today. I love you. Amen.
Ron Buford is the Pastor of the Congregational Community Church of Sunnyvale, UCC, Sunnyvale, California.