Tips for Keeping that Heavenly Love Vibrant!
Ok, because of my suspicious roommate, the secret is out, so I have to tell the REST of the story...as Paul Harvey use to say, just to clear the air!
So I have the habit of sneaking away, every so often: Away from the hustle and bustle, away from those I live with (roommates, family etc), and away from distractions that seem to take all too much of my time. Sometimes it will be a quiet secluded corner in peaceful restaurant or coffee shop (even though I don't drink coffee). Sometimes it will be beside a peaceful river or stream. Sometimes it will be up on a mountain trail or scenic lookout. (My favorite is a secluded spot I discovered along the Oregon coast recently - pictured below.)
I have a lot of fun on these "secret getaways" for each time I discover that my Lover has prepared a beautiful feast. And each feast contains "secret delights" and delicacies that I cannot find on my own. In fact, I almost feel guilty to be enjoying such exotic feasts, for I realize that there are many that have not yet discovered this beautiful bounty... the bounty that only gets more delightful and amazing each time we go out.
"He brought me to the banqueting house and His banner over me was LOVE." Song of Sol 2:4
But how can you try to explain such "secret getaways" to your friends....especially to a roommate that has only lived with me a month and is a baby Christian, still trying to just grasp the "ABC's" of the walk. To her my utter consumption and time away with Him doesn't make a lot of sense as she still turns to "good movies" and "Bible study mentors" for her "spiritual high." So to be honest, the last few weeks I haven't really even tried to explain....I've just told her... "I'm going away for some alone time. I'll be back in a few hours."
Recently as I've been dealing with new challenges in ministry and facing changes in my own life and the lives of those I love, I've been taking lots of these "secret getaways." (And honestly, I'm not sure how I would keep going if I didn't have them, for they've helped provide a warmth and sustaining vibrance in my walk with God for a number of years now!) However, the last few weeks, as I've taken even more time away, I guess my new roommate has become more and more suspicious. After a day or even a few hours away, I come back refreshed, alive, and with a special glow on my face, it's no wonder she thinks something "fishy" is going on. So the other day she texted me while I was away. Here was her exact words, "Do you have a secret boyfriend??? If you do, I think that's wonderful. I will pretend that I don't know and I promise I wont tell anyone. But you don't need to sneak around me, Mel!"
You should have heard the laughter that erupted from my heart. (I've never even had a boyfriend for starters, and when I do, I promise it wont be a secret!) But then I turned serious as I realized, "This girl is serious! She can't imagine why I would take so much time alone with God, she actually thinks something else is going on!" Oh my... so I texted her back not to worry...that I was not trying to pull any "wool" over her eyes. It was just me and God. I think she was a little disappointed she didn't learn some new juicy detail about my life. But as I was thinking about it more, I realized..."Well, her suspicions are right, sorta...." While it sounds really weird and I don't like to look at the almighty God and Creator of the Universe as my "boyfriend" - truly He is the Lover that has captured my heart and keeps pulling me away for solitude with Him. And this shouldn't be a secret in my life...He's not ashamed to share His deep love for me...why should I be shy and reserved to share my deep love for Him???
God has led me to some beautiful places lately, during our secret get-aways. I wont share what has happened during our time together or the things He showed me (after all, some things ARE meant to be kept secret), but I'll just say that it's been wonderful. Truly, each "date out" gets better and better and more beautiful. I can't imagine what it will be like to spend eternity together with Him....
"He that dwelleth in the SECRET PLACE of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the almighty." Ps 91:1 (Emphasis added!)
This is too good to be kept for myself though. You know what?? He has some "Secret-Getaways" He'd like to take you too as well...so why don't you take some extra time away and spend with Him. It's one of my favorite "personal secrets" to keeping my Heavenly Love vibrant and experiencing continuous revival in my life. It's also what helps me have "spiritual food" to share with others. And that's one of the reasons that we need to be continuously revived anyway? Right. Not just so we can hoard all these "delicacies" for ourselves, but so we can share with many others that if they only TASTE and SEE, they will discover that He is goooooooooood, very good. (Ps 34:8)
(See blog posts below with SLIDE SHOW of pictures of some of the beautiful plaees He's taken me recently!)