Advent & The Spending of Time
Earlier this year, I came across a survey about friendship. In it, respondents were asked what one thing their closest friend or friends did that they valued most & made their relationship genuinely close. Overwhelmingly, those surveyed said that in their closest friendships, their friend intentionally made time for them. This intentional time set aside deepened their relationship. Not only were these friends intentional about spending time together, they delighted in spending time with the survey respondent, often seeking them out.
Such a simple thing – this spending of time.
Yet, we live in a split-second world where our communication is increasingly defined by how short & fast it is. We speak in 140 characters and message each other. True face time is rare. It’s no surprise the relationships that respondents valued most were those in which friends intentionally set aside time to simply be with them.
Two weeks into Advent, I find myself considering time. Time is elusive. You can’t hold fast to such a priceless commodity. We spend it with each passing moment, like it or not.
We live in time. Yet, God created it.
The One who created time lives beyond it, without the constraints of a schedule moving too quickly. He is never rushed. He simply is. The great I Am.
Yet, this God chose to be born into time. Chose to be constrained by seconds, minutes and hours. To feel hunger pangs as the lunch hour approached. To listen to the rooster crow early in the morning, maybe a little too early, for a sleepy young boy.
Even while living under times’ constraints, he chose to spend his moments intentionally. Lavishing them on individuals – the woman at the well, the despised tax collector, the prostitute, the overlooked, the disenfranchised, the sick & the poor.
For the same reason he chose to step into time, I believe. God desires to have a close relationship with us. Each of us. And, He is intentional about it.
“And he shall be called Immanuel.” God with us.
God chose to step into time by taking on flesh as a helpless infant, that he might be “with us” – for all time. Leading us. Teaching us. Laughing with us.
Delighting in us.
I have to ask myself, am I intentional about spending time with him? If not, why? Especially if I want my relationship with God to be the deepest & most fulfilling it can be.
He’s not texting, direct messaging, tweeting or “Like-ing” me – He is with me. He has chosen to spend time – with me.
The God of all creation loves me with a love deeper than any other and he chooses to be with me.
When I spend my moments in a blur of activity, He waits for me to be intentional about our friendship.
Moments pass quickly, and still he waits. His presence is near. A gift waiting to be unwrapped each moment, all year long. He is “God with us.”
Are we “with” him?