In the middle of tomorrow’s daily reading for the Eastridge Community Church reading plan, Luke 5, there’s an interesting, yet simple, statement about Jesus. It’s not entirely apropos of the episode being related at the time, though I guess it is loosely. Verse 16 says:
“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”
Seems pretty straightforward, doesn’t it? It ought to be, but it isn’t so simple. For me it’s easy to pray sitting in a chair, in my truck, or while I’m doing other things, or if it’s a particularly fervent prayer, on my knees or face down on the floor or bed. It’s an entirely different thing to literally go out of my way to achieve total, un-distracted aloneness with God.
I haven’t done it in a while, but one of my favorite places to go to pray and spend time with God is the nature trail at Hard Labor Creek State Park, about 15 or 20 minutes from my house. I love walking the trail…it’s good exercise, which is a nice benefit as well…and just talking and listening to God. I really don’t do it often enough…especially this time of year when the weather isn’t quite so accommodating.
A couple of years ago, I made plans to drive up to the Cohutta Wilderness Area in North Georgia to a place I’m familiar with, having been there dozens of times throughout the year. But traffic got the better of me, and once I realized it was taking too long to get there, I abandoned my plans.
The fact of the matter is, it takes a concerted effort to do like Jesus did and get away to spend time with God. It’s arguably harder in our era of technology and unprecedented connection to the outside world to do so. But from my own experiences, it’s most definitely worth it.
How often do you try to do it?