by Clark Roush, Ph.D.
Recently my wife and I went once again to “our place.” It is a lovely state park in NE with secluded cabins, and all the wonderful accompaniments. Thankfully my wife knows me better than I sometimes know myself – we scheduled this getaway to keep me from working through my entire spring break. It was “nectar of the gods” for my spirit and soul. It was a precious time for our relationship as well. As usual, I needed it more than I realized.
I promise not to go the land of “too much information,” but reflecting on the experience brought not only relational insight, but in addition, some spiritual perspectives. That is the intended focus of this post.
Let me begin by listing some of things that make our “time away” so wonderful: glances, touches, smiles, laughter, serious conversation, stillness, silence, just being together, reflection, staying connected to each other, no time constraints – clocks/watches irrelevant, much less noise than normal, minimal distractions, fresh air, new perspectives, and priorities re-arranged/confirmed.
I can’t imagine my life or marriage without these fabulous “escapes!” I am blessed beyond belief to have someone to share this life with that helps complete me and assists God in the work He’s trying to do in me. As I sat in the quiet, at the edge of the woods, the faint smell of charcoal in the air, a glorious cup of coffee in hand – I couldn’t help but reflect on how the very things I’ve just described are also essential elements in keeping my relationship with God as it should be.
Relationships take both time and purposeful attention. I’m always glad to give those to the woman I love so much – am I always glad to give time and purposeful attention to the One who loved me enough to die for my sins? Do I offer Him the stillness and silence necessary to hear His words for me. It is SO hard to quiet the voices of culture and hear only His voice. Do I commit often enough to the time that takes?
Do I enjoy “just being together” with God – you know – “hanging out” with my Creator and Redeemer? Is He “fresh air” for my spiritual being? Do I long to stay connected? Do I seek times where the watch/clock doesn’t matter and we can address each other with less noise and distraction? Do I let Him realign my perspectives and priorities?
I want to challenge all of us – myself at the top of the list – to want Him even more than we want those on earth we love. I truly believe the best thing I can do for my wife is not to love her more than anything – it is to love God more than anything and allow Him to continue to mold and shape me. I know – easier said than done – but the difficulty shouldn’t alter the effort or commitment necessary. I believe the more I allow Him to “finish the work He began” in me, the more I will be able to love my wife and make the necessary sacrifices, with the right attitudes, to serve her as she deserves and as would please Him.
If you have a prayer list, and wouldn’t mind putting me on it, it would be great if you would pray that I will more and more want a vibrant and vital connection with the Father – one that shapes my heart, soul, and mind, and one that increases by ability to hear with Spirit ears, see with Spirit eyes, and move at His impulses!
I would love to hear your thoughts and perspectives – it is indeed a journey for all of us, isn’t it? Praise Him that He is the ultimate GPS!