By now you know that, for the time being, I’ve moved to the other side of the world. While I believe that I’m settling in quite nicely, I realise that I have just 1 real discomfort that I want to share here. While you’re reading, please bear in mind that I don’t mean to sound hyper-spiritual. But you should know by now that I’m sharing what I’m experiencing and what’s in my heart, so here goes.
A few weeks ago, I spent 8 days bathed in the presence of God; He and I got tighter than we’ve ever been before (and I thought we were pretty tight already; boy, was I wrong!). It was an awesome time for me and left me feeling simultaneously broken and new. The 4 days following those 8 days were like an epilogue to my experience, so my 8-day God bath became my 12-day God bath. Those 12 days were precious to me, more so than any other time in my life has ever been.
Then it was time to get back to ‘normal’ life. I moved on to my new life in a different country and I naturally had to focus on other things – settling in; adjusting to a new culture, new surroundings and new people; starting a new job.
By the second day into my new job, something felt off.
As I’ve mentioned before, I sometimes do an emotional self-check, just asking myself how I’m feeling right now. That usually leads to me thinking about why I’m feeling that way. So I asked myself what I was feeling, realised that I felt like something was missing, like I wasn’t doing something or like something that should be happening wasn’t, and I tried to figure out what was going on. I quickly realised what it was. My daily ongoing conversation with God that had grown in intensity through that 12-day experience had scaled back a bit. Once the new work had truly begun, I got lost in it, particularly since there was a lot of focussed reading and training involved.
I found that I was missing that uninterrupted, intense time with God. After almost 2 weeks of constant conversation with Him (and almost no-one else) and being bathed in His presence, I felt a little discombobulated because now I was going hours at a time without really talking to Him. I almost started panicking; I don’t want to take a step back and increase the distance between God and me. After all that I’ve experienced so far, it physically pains me to even think of that happening. However, when I thought about it, I realised that the change shouldn’t have surprised me. Like Moses, we all have to come down from the mountaintop and deal with everyday life (remember the golden calf incident?).
To help myself feel better, I decided to do what Romans 12:1 says (I like The Message version of this verse):
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: take your everyday, ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life – and place it before God as an offering.
Since my distraction from God is during working hours, I decided to start praying about my work before I actually start working, dedicating my workday and my work to God as my worship since I can’t be in constant conscious communion with Him (the way I had so quickly gotten used to) during that time. My work is such a huge part of my walking-around life and I realise that in my old life, I never committed it to God in this way.
Now, I feel a little better for 2 reasons. Having thought about it, I believe that He understands about the reduction in my chatter with Him; I’ve discussed it with Him and I think He’s cool. Also, I’m now conscious of the danger of losing ground in our relationship so I’ll do what I can to guard against it and leave the rest up to Him.
My walking-around life belongs to Him so I think that as long as I play my part, He’ll make sure that we’re OK. Still, I think I’ll need to retreat with Him from time to time, just for me.