I recently made the 12-hour drive, by myself, to visit my parents in Wyoming. That’s 24 hours alone in the car, and I determined ahead of time that I was going to use it as a time of devotion to the Lord.
I downloaded a devotional audiobook onto my Kindle and borrowed a few worship CDs from my daughter. For 24 solid hours I intermittently prayed, sang worship music (horribly and quite loudly, the way you can only sing when alone in the car), and listened to my book. At one point halfway through my journey, I came out of a gas station and paused long in front of a Red Box. So tempting to rent a chick flick and listen to it from my laptop. But no. I walked away still determined to spend time with God.
When I was growing up I used to go to as many church camps as I could in the summer. My favorite was the Friends camp I attended with my cousin for several summers. It overlooked Pike’s Peak, and I grew closer to the Lord there than anywhere else (and came away with a crush on Steve Street –my was he good lookin’).
Where was I?
Oh yeah. I loved church camp because I wanted God so badly. Wanted to know how to be close to Him, wanted to know how to serve Him, wanted to sing about Him, and wanted to learn His ways. At church camp you do that all day long.
My 24-hour car trip felt like going to camp, and I thought, Everybody needs this.
Everybody needs a purposeful, solitary time of focusing on God, praying, singing, and absorbing His word.
And here’s where I know what you’re thinking. You have a bushel of kids, and it’s a really, really great day if you can even go to the bathroom by yourself.
Well, I can’t give you 24 hours in the car to yourself. But I would encourage you to look for pockets of time when you CAN devote yourself to the Lord. Susannah Wesley (mom to Charles and John Wesley) used to throw her apron over her head to get some time with God –and Lord help the child who interrupted her when the apron covered her head.
It’s not that someone hands us 24 hours in a car all alone with God.
It’s that we WANT 24 hours with God.
And the wanting makes us look for ways to catch some time with Him. We look for it with desperation. It makes us bring a Bible or a devotional book or a worship CD to the quiet, still places –like the carpool line or the Grease Monkey waiting room or the kitchen sink.
“…my soul pants for you, O God.” (Psalm 42:1 NIV)