We live in a society where waste has become an important topic and much rescources are spent on waste management, or waste reduction. Waste has become something that has bad publicity. When we waste something we are seen as irresponsible - we should be making the most of everything we have and use it wisely.
However, this week I discovered GOOD WASTE.
We had a ministry retreat day this week to spend time praying, retreating and sitting in solitude with God.
Our minds may tell us that this is a WASTE of good time. We are all busy and have long "to do" lists. We have people that are depending on us to meet deadlines so taking a day off to pray, reflect and simply be with God (isn;t He with us all the time anyway?), could increase our stress.
But here is the good news, solitude was not unusual for Jesus, in fact it was vital. Luke noted it was characteristic and frequent:
“Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed“ (Luke 5:16).”
As you look through the gospels you discover that Jesus went away to pray at every significant moment of his ministry. He retreated from the crowd who desperately needed His ministry. He retreating before choosing his disciples. He retreated before His death. Every morning he withdraw in solitude.
Now if He is one with God and the Holy Spirit, why was it an important part of His routine?
As a team we watched a short talk by Chris Webb, ( Benedictine Anglican priest, author, speaker) who challenged the thought that solitude and quiet reflections is thought of as being a WASTE of time. We are happy wasting time, giving up hours to be with friends and family, simply getting to know them and enjoying their company. Maybe the very reason the Father and the Son are one, is the very reason he spent time together, in solitude. Maybe our time with God is not to have a relationship but because we have relationship.
Just as it's fine to waste time with those we love, it’s fine to waste time with God. To stop everything and simply spend time, hours, a morning, a day. When you do you will find it’s not a waste but a great investment. Chris Webb’s advice was,
“If it feels like a waste of time, go with it anyway, WASTE a bit of time with God, you'll be glad you did.”
Go and waste time with God this week. Get to know him more.