One of my favorite things to do each morning is to go sit on my back patio, especially in the early morning. I’ll go back there for prayer and time in the word, or just to sit and think. In the early morning, there are some awesome sounds around. There are crickets chirping, an owl hooting nearby, squirrels running around, and birds singing, particularly two cardinals that have made our back yard their home. In our small half acre, I have grown to love the surroundings of my back yard under the tree canopy. When I can’t get away this has become my getaway.
It’s funny the thoughts that race through the mind in those moments. So many holy and silent moments where I just get to converse and listen to the Father. In those times, the breeze is blowing through the trees and the birds are amplified. Something about listening to creation that enables me to draw nearer and hear the Father more.
There are other times, when hearing the Father and really getting locked in becomes difficult. It’s always the same sounds that distract me. The sounds of the highway not far off. When those sounds sometimes get amplified in the morning air, it can become a big distraction for many reason. For one, it constantly reminds me of the busyness of this world and the fact that we always have things to do and places to go. Very little time to rest.
I was reminded of Mark 6:31, where Jesus tells his disciples, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest a while.” Rest and quiet was so essential to Jesus. Many times throughout the Gospels, we see Jesus going off to be alone to rest and pray with the Father. I have come to realize that this is such an essential part of life and why I like to take time on my back porch to rest and sit and ponder life, pray, and read.
Jesus valued this time to get away and we should too. Dallas Willard reminds me of something else in relation to this. He said, “Daily ‘Quiet Time’ as the method for spiritual growth is like trying to take a shower one drop at a time! It’s inefficient. For many people their inconsistencies plague them with guilt. It’s much more helpful to have extended times of being immersed in God.” Reading this, really gets me thinking. Jesus did just go off for a minute or even 5, 10, or 30 minutes. Went off for extended time periods. At one point, 40 days.
This is what the noise of traffic that distracts me also reminds me of. This is not enough. To really grow with God, I need to take more prolonged periods where I can be with the Father for a few days. This world is so busy that it feels like it’s impossible to do. But I tell you, having been able to do this a few times the last couple of years has energized me more than I could have ever imagined and allowed me to really hear God’s calling on my life.
This is the way my brain operates. It may seem like I’m looking very deep into something as simple as sitting on my back porch, but think about it. We were created for intimacy and dependence with God. We were created to have a deep and fruitful relationship as Father/son or Father/daughter. It is now the first priority of my life, to cultivate a build on that relationship and getting time with just myself and the Father is of utmost importance as it is for you. Daily quiet time, helps to keep us engaged and that’s what I use my back porch time for. Real growth is found when we can take longer times to be with the Father. Best done unplugged in at those places where we feel the closest to Him, often in the wilderness in some way.
These are my musings for today. Just sitting out here made me really ponder the value that is placed in these moments outside being in the midst of the beauty of creation. As C.S. Lewis said, “We do not want to merely see beauty, we want to become a part of it.“