Alone time – Years and countless nights were spent helping prepare my son for sleep from the comforts of our sturdy rocking chair. We may have outgrown the ability to snuggle comfortably in that chair as we once did; however, while the location has changed, the routine remains the same. Prayer. Followed by Bible. Followed by snuggles and momma’s songs. He clings to his bears while I sing softy and watch as he drifts off to sleep. This is our time. We are alone, at peace and at rest. He is content and my cup runneth over.
This past weekend was a full one as we took a quick mini vacation to Omaha. We enjoyed exploring the Lord’s creation at the zoo and experiencing the culture that makes the city unique. We had quality time together for three days straight. We were on the go; occupied with doing things that brought us joy. It was uninterrupted with the responsibilities of life for just a bit and it was fun.
When we got home, Zechariah asked me a question I found interesting based on the time we had just finished spending. “Mommy, can we have some alone time together?” It was already bedtime when the question arose, so I reminded him that we were just about to start our nightly ritual which had become our own secret-place through the years. But he wasn’t satisfied. He wanted to do the routine we were accustomed to, but he also wanted to just be still. He wanted to snuggle, agenda-free, and talk about whatever came to mind.
We had our alone time beyond the routine that night. There were no special conversations that took place or in-depth secrets that were revealed. But the fact that he wanted to just be with me outside of our normal routine made the night forever memorable.
Routines and rituals are good. They are Biblical and the discipline of regular times of study and prayer are what strengthen our relationship with God and draw us closer to Him. But sometimes, like my son, He longs for us to just be. To break free from the agendas and just enjoy resting in and with Him. That is where we really get to know the love we have… when routine is stripped away and all we have is the presence of each other.
Zechariah nearly always falls asleep in peace, yet this time I couldn’t help but notice a different kind of smile as he drifted off. It was one of contentment and love. He knows he’s loved, but that night, that love was shown in a different way. By just being with his momma and his momma just being with him. Alone time. No ritual. No agenda. No special activity. No strings attached.
God wants us to be able to lie down and sleep in peace for in Him alone we dwell in safety (Psalm 4:8). To experience that, we must learn to simply be with Him. We don’t give up the Bible reading, prayer or structure of devotion time. But we don’t allow those routines to completely define our time or relationship with Him to the degree that we are unable to simply rest in His Presence. I believe it is in that place where a new level of peace and contentment will arise. And I believe God used a little boy to show me just that.
Thank you, Zechariah. And thank You, God, for simply desiring to be with us – Your kids. May we find that same desire and contentment in being with You. Not because we have to, but because we want to. May we find our rest in the contentment of Your Presence and love and know that You do the same. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.