You know what I think? Busyness has to go. We need to become people who spend intentional, unhurried time with God and with each other. Our schedule need to reflect that truth that love takes time.
We all know it’s true. We’ve seen it play out in our relationships. If we’ve taken time to think about it, that is. I’m not that old, and yet, the more I think about it the more I know it’s a universal truth: love takes time. Any loving relationship is built through a complex combination of trust, appreciation, kindness, and affection. It takes time to establish and develop those things. Yes, love takes time.
I think we all know this is true somewhat inherently when it comes to human relationships. As it turns out, human relationships can show us a lot about the universal laws of love. In other words, the methods you use to grow to love other people well are often the same with God.
It takes faith to believe in God. It takes trust to follow him. And it takes time spent with him to fall in love with him.
That probably isn’t shocking to hear. Every other Christian likes to talk about how they need to be spending more time with God. It’s a popular sentiment. I think our hearts know what our minds don’t: we were created to be fully engaged to God and the path to that is simply spending time with Him. Even if you aren’t surprised by the fact that love takes time, have you really thought about it in depth?
I realized on my last trip to East Africa that most of the world spends a lot more time with each other then we do in America. I spent hours silently watching people connect in a language I didn’t understand. Even though I had little to no clue what they were discussing, I did catch on to the overwhelming cultural sentiment: if going alone will take you faster but going together will take you further, we like to go further. And you know what? Every time I’m there I fall in love with them. Now I think I know why:
When I am in this slow-paced, community-driven culture, I have time to connect on a much deeper level than I usually do. I have time to fall in love. I might not get as many things ticked off of my to-do list, but I leave with tears in my eyes.
If it’s true that love takes time, then our schedules are direct reflections of what we love. What we prioritize by how we spend our time will not only have the highest place in our heart, but it will most likely continue to.
I’m naturally a goal-oriented person. Checking boxes off my to-do list makes me happy. I love looking back at my week and feeling like I was productive and efficient. As good as that sounds, I know I have a tendency to neglect extended periods of intentional connection with people and even with God. I don’t like that. Having a fiery, intimate relationship with God is the best thing I can ever experience. Just read 1 Corinthians 13! So I’ve decided that my schedule has to change this year. I don’t want “getting things done” to have my heart.
One other thing. I think we should stop saying I need to spend more time with God or I really should pray more. When we say things like that, it sounds like a energy-consuming, necessary but difficult line on our to-do list. It tells our hearts that the goal for spending time with God is to prove that we are being a diligent Christian. Actually it’s way, WAY better than that.
Spending half an hour every morning to pray doesn’t make you a better Christian, it gives you the chance to fall in love with your Creator.
What we should be saying is this:
God, I want to fall in love with you. I want to be completely head over heels, crazy eyed, heart throbbing in love. Anything else is religion. Just dirty rags. No, I want to know you. I want to be your closest friend and lover and follower! Whatever it takes, I’ll do it. Time? It’s all yours anyway. I’m not going to fit time alone with you into my schedule, God. You have to be the one who fits my schedule into my time alone with you.
That’s how I want to live. I’m asking God to not let busy define my life this year. I’m ok with the words “full”, “active”, “given”. But busy connotes too busy. I refuse to pick that up. My heart is his. If my heart needs time spent alone with him, that’s the priority. Because love takes time and I want love. All of it. Especially from the infinite One who is Love.
And it doesn’t end with “quiet time”. I assure you that the more time you spend getting to know your Heavenly Family, the more time you will want to spend with your earthly one. Start with God, let him define your schedule, and you’ll start finding that beautiful moments of connection with everyone around you are a lot easier than you thought. Why?
Because love simply takes time. Spend it.