Sunday, February 1, 2009

Wasting Time with God

What do taking a nap, visiting a neighbour for an hour for no particular reason, and watching a sunset with your partner have in common? It’s simply ‘wasting time’ to be with God.

Yet it’s seemingly something totally foreign to people of this age; the ability to relax and waste time with God. This is simply about practicing that contemplative tradition of the Christian faith, getting back to the very basics in life.

And for the Christian it is escaping even for one day from the run-of-the-mill legalism of ‘daily (ritualistic) prayer,’ as well as ensuring that we resist the temptation to stay busy, for most of us hate boredom.

I think boredom reminds us of the emptiness inside each one of us. It calls us back to the discomfort of perhaps past failures and unresolved issues.

Notwithstanding the gaping hole, indeed to the contrary, time spent with God doing nothing can be very therapeutic. Think about the worlds of creativity that most of us hardly even scratch the surface of.

Our imaginations are fired in the peace of simple nature, or lost in time with the company of a loved-one, neighbour or work colleague--if we allow it to occur. Suddenly something that I call ‘thought production’ can occur.

It’s all about that resounding word and concept, “choice.” Do we choose today to find the time to simply waste, in the interests of peace--from the rush and tumble of life, or shall we embark yet again in busyness that loses itself every time?

Do you need to waste some time with God?

Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

Reference: Richard Foster, Streams of Living Water: Celebrating the Great Traditions of the Christian Faith (London, HarperCollinsReligious, 1998), p. 57.

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