|Bed & Breakfast in Alvarado|
I heard this story once about two girls and it helped to inspire me to start having these date nights with God consistantly. Let's say the women just hiked up a mountain and there was a bunch of other people who had hiked up there also. While everyone was taking in all the beauty around them, one of the girls stopped, blew a kiss to God and said, “I love you, God!” Everyone around her was stunned. Later while hiking down, the other girl said, “ya know, that was a little weird and embarrassing when you did that.’ The one who blew God a kiss, replied, “well, if you can’t blow God a kiss and tell him you love him in front of others…honestly, how real is he to you?” I was impacted and challenged.
So I asked myself…how real is God to me? Do I have a deep, fun relationship with him? At the time, nope. I thought…well how do you build that? Then I looked at how I've built relationships with my best friends. We spend time hanging out, doing stuff we both like, having inside jokes, crying in front of them, laughing…etc. For lack of a better way to describe it, I started thinking of God as if he was right next to me, almost like a person, and looking at my relationship with God as if it was similar to the one Moses had in Exodus 33:11, "The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend."
I set my date nights for Monday nights during the first few years because that helped me with discipline. It was also helpful for others to know that Monday nights were God's nights. So I thought I'd share a few of my date ideas just for fun. Some of them may seem mundane but I believe that if you are focused on God, I mean really spending time with him in your heart...these are dates and the possibilities are endless. My dates with God have been:
- having a nice meal at the dinner table and chatting with him about my day
- prayer walking or working out
- going to the movies
- visiting a museum together
- doing laundry and making encouragement cards for others
- going grocery shopping with a focus to share my faith (not just inviting them to church but really getting into a conversation and sharing how my life has changed)
- spending time in silence together in the back yard admiring the garden
- painting pictures that were inspired by thinking of certain stories from the bible
- driving a highway loop and praying around the city like it was Jericho
- intense bible study on a topic
- memorizing scripture to recite to God the next day
My little date nights have grown even bigger - now I go on vacations with God too (like my trip in 2010 to Iceland, just me and God) because we are finishing things on my dream list. And do you know what? One day it happened…I was walking down an isle in a busy store and asked out loud, “What do you think God? Is it to expensive?” That was a break through moment for me…I was like the "blowing a kiss to God" girl in the story…I knew that my relationship with God was getting deeper and becoming more real. That memory still makes me smile and laugh because it felt natural and yet the human side of me still felt it a little bit odd. But my course was set...I wanted a deep, real relationship with God and it was totally blooming.
Recently, God and I bought a house together…oh and we just bought our first car. I couldn’t do it without Him and I wouldn't want to because we are building memories. He's more than a friend now…I look to him more like I would a Husband. Afterall, He is the 'head of my house' and Isaiah 54 says it too! ‘For your Maker is your husband - the LORD Almighty is his name - the Holy One of Israel is your redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.’
A deep connection with God is so essential…especially since you are going to be with him FOREVER. So that is my story. Do I still have dates with God? Sure! It's not on Monday's though...it's more like every night! He's who I come home to, who watches over me at night, and who spends time with me when no one else is available. I hope you feel encouraged to set aside some extra time with God to build memories. Call it a date, call it whatever, just make that little extra time for him to building special memories that'll last deep in your heart and I think you'll be amazed at how God blesses it.