Hi everyone. I’m Michael and I live in Los Angeles with my wife, Kristine, and our three young kids.
Last summer, Kristine and I were feeling really worn down after going through a difficult season. I was telling my brother-in-law about this and he asked if I ever tried spending extended time alone with God… like 24 hours straight.
Intellectually I understood the concept, but practically it didn’t really make sense to me. Am I supposed to take time off from work? What about my family (I already feel like I don’t see them enough as it is)? Where would I go? Wouldn’t it be really boring?
All of those questions remained, but it still seemed like something worth trying. So we did.
What I have found in the act of spending extended time with God has been nothing short of life-changing for me. I have felt a nearness to Him that would be incredibly hard to replicate in the busyness of my day-to-day life. He has given me a joy for worshiping him through song in a way that I’ve never realized. And he’s taught me that boredom and silence are not evil things that must be eradicated from my life. In fact, they are actually good and God has used them to speak to me.
Kristine and I have now been practicing this for 7 months and my hope is that we never stop. What works for us is to have the person take off on a Friday afternoon and return on Saturday afternoon. We’ve even found a quaint (cheap!) retreat center where we like to stay. And we have a strict no phones/laptops/tablets/novels rule that is so hard, but so important. Every time has been a little different and I feel like it’s becoming more and more tailored to how I enjoy connecting with God. To those of you who feel like your life is too busy for something like this, or you’re struggling to connect with God in a deep and meaningful way, I would challenge you (like my brother-in-law did for me) to consider if this might be exactly what you need right now. It certainly was for me.
Thanks for reading,