Topic 3 – Time alone with God
It wasn’t until I got to the second year of my A-levels that I realized just how important taking time out to be with God and work on that relationship was. I was in the midst of 5 hour revision session 7 days a week only stopping to eat and occasionally leave the house for air, but whilst most of my time was spent buried in revision books, I only felt like I was sinking deeper into the whole I was digging. I knew I was learning the information but I still felt like I hadn’t done enough at the end of each day and quite frankly like I wasn’t good enough… So one afternoon I went for a walk with the pastor of my church at the time and he reminded me about how the relationship we have with God is like any other relationship. You can’t expect to have a best friend of years, completely ignore them and their attempts to reach out and contact you for six weeks and then come back expecting things to be exactly as they were. It works the same with God… If we go about our own lives ignoring Him and not making time for Him then it’s only natural that we are going to drift away and begin to feel distant. I began to understand why nothing felt enough, because that relationship was the only thing giving me purpose. I was never sure I even wanted to go to Uni, but I applied because I felt it was where God was sending me. I certainly didn’t expect to get into Oxford, but I did because once and only once I started to make time in that crazy schedule just to sit and be with God, I found the strength, patience and the confidence to get the grades I needed.
This was a lesson I needed to learn and one that has served me well at Uni. Don’t get me wrong, I really struggled in my first term with much the same issues, again allowing my work and commitments to block out any time for God in my day to day life, but I soon reminded myself of the importance of working on that relationship and remaining connected. And you know the best part is, even when we drift away God never gives up and never moves in the opposite direction, but instead tries to pull us back in and receives us with open arms when we return home. Sure, it takes time and effort to build up and maintain that relationship, but no time or energy is more beautifully or enjoyably spent than growing in a loving relationship with a God that makes me feel 100 times the person I am without Him.
I know our days can be busy, so here is some practical advice. God is always there and always willing to talk, so make the most of the time you have, when you have it. I love talking to God and spending some time praying in the car when I’m travelling too and from gigs. It’s time I have alone to reflect and, to be honest, the company makes the journeys go much quicker. At Uni I found myself working in the library or coffee shops a lot and I tended to spend my breaks on my phone of ordering another vanilla late, but a friend of mine chose to use that time to be with God, read His Bible and reflect. Needless to say I took inspiration and found it incredibly useful!
I suppose I’ve spent a lot of this blog talking about how I have and haven’t at times connected with God, but not so much that connection itself, how it feels and why I find it so necessary in my life. Well that’s because I really struggled to put into words the difference I feel when I’m really connected with God. It’s like I’m an entirely different person and the way I see things is totally different. So I guess if that’s all I have to say, your just gonna have to find out for yourselves!