How To “Waste” A Summer Afternoon

When the days grow longer and the temperatures rise, there’s something inside many of us that begs us to relax, to put our feet up…and do absolutely nothing. Maybe it’s the heat or maybe it’s just that every moment of our busy days makes us long for some relief from it, for just a few minutes of down time. Whatever the cause of it, we need to pay attention to that call of our built-in laziness.

What??? Lazy is never a good thing, right? Well, maybe and maybe not. I’m not suggesting that we shirk all our responsibilities forever but just that we “unschedule” ourselves on a regular basis. We need to create some time where no one is expecting us to be anywhere or do anything for a bit. The only expectation is that we’ll open our hearts and minds to whatever the Lord may want to lead us. We’re going to waste some time with Jesus.

This is something that we can see the followers of Jesus doing with Him as they enjoyed listening and asking questions. We can imagine how HIs words would have stirred them, making them question their decisions and evaluate how they were living their lives. Some were drawn closer to Jesus and committed their lives to Him. Their faith was always rewarded. Their time with Christ became the treasure in their lives. This is what He offers each one of us. But we’ll never know that closeness if we don’t spend time with Him, listening.  

First, get your Bible and read one chapter in one of the Gospels. Any chapter of any Gospel. Pick your favorite or find one that has always challenged your understanding. Read it. Now read it again, more slowly. Focus on Jesus’ words. Now imagine yourself being there, in the moment with Jesus. Imagine Him talking directly to you, looking you in the eyes. How does His gaze make you feel? What people in your own life come into your thoughts as He’s looking at you? How are His words inviting you to live?

Make a list of all the people that you are praying for. Now add to that list all the people who have hurt you, betrayed you, lied about you, abandoned you, or have been a stumbling block for you. These people will become the treasures of your prayer life. Offering prayers on behalf of those who have hurt you is a sure source of grace. Nothing pleases our Lord more than seeing His children live out His teachings of love and forgiveness. By our prayers, we reveal our wounded hearts to Him and He never fails to heal us, forgive us, and draw us back to Him.  

Once you’ve prayed for all the folks on your list, you’re ready to spend time with God “in the cool of the day” (Genesis 3:18). This is how our first parents came to know God in the Garden. They opened their hearts and listened. They enjoyed each other’s company. How wonderful that time with God was and how beautiful that He offers that same sort of time to each one of us. He not only offers that experience to us, He craves it. God wants to spend time with each of us. He longs for us to invite Him in to every moment of our lives. So set aside a lazy afternoon to “waste” some time with the Lord. You’ll never regret giving those hours to Him. You’ll be revived and refreshed and hopefully you’ll want to schedule more “unscheduled” hours for prayer and reflection. 

“Faith is that profound conviction that God is with us and for us.” 

                     —Unknown 

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Brian H. Gill
    Jun 15, 2017 @ 02:45:41

    As I recall, we’ve got one “do absolutely nothing” day scheduled each week – defining “nothing” as you did. 🙂 Good advice, I think.

    Reply

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