Have you ever seen the film 'Catch me if you can'? There's a wonderful part in it where it's explained that the people trained to look for counterfeit money aren't trained by being shown example after example of what's wrong - they're trained to know what a true note looks like by studying the genuine article. Now I'm not even going to try pretending I'm the first person to bring this analogy to us and God - but it works non the less. We're never going to find out what God says by looking at ourselves - we have to look to Him.
This is something my church has been recently challenged to do - through various prophetic pictures and bible verses we have been reminded that we should be seeking God wholeheartedly and not have our focus elsewhere. Coincidentally (if you believe in such a thing when God is involved) this is also the focus of our ladies group this term - we're looking at Mary and Martha and spending quality time with God.
Which leads me to the title of this blog - what does it look like? What is seeking God wholeheartedly? What does spending time with God look like, feel like? How can we create space where we listen to God and don't do all the talking?
I'm not going to pretend I have all the answers to this, but I would like to share something that I've been taught recently.
We had a ladies retreat day not so long ago, a fabulous day where we spent time discussing some issues in the morning, followed by some free time to spend with God in the afternoon. Lots of activities were on offer, but I ended up going to one table and staying there until it was time for cake.
The table I stuck with was a craft table, full of all sorts of beautiful things - patterned paper, brads, stamps - the works. So I sat there, in a mini heaven and crafted my heart out. I ended up crafting something around a bible verse that I'd been given that morning and it was amazing. Not the end product, that was good, but the act itself was better. I was spending time with God, quiet in His presence, open to what He was saying and loving every second of it.
You see, I love crafty things, I have a box full of the stuff and home and I never have the time to use it. Because I'm also a useful person, a helpful person, a person that gets annoyed by things and ends up volunteering to do stuff so they won't annoy her any longer. I've ended up prioritising 'doing' work, 'doing church' and even, although I hate to admit it, 'doing' God. And in doing all that - I think I've kicked out one of the things God has created me to be.
Not everyone is designed the same way, I know not everyone would relish the idea of spending time cutting and sticking bits of paper together. But I think everyone has something that makes them tick, somewhere they feel free and some way they can have space to be and listen to God. It could be cycling, taking a bath, writing music, exploring the countryside, reading, gardening, baking - whatever it is, I'd like to challenge you not to push that part to the sidelines of your life. It might not be something you initially label as 'useful' but it could end up being what spending time with God looks like for you.
P.S. This post is dedicated to a wonderful person who's favourite question is 'What does it look like?' They'll know who it is as they've told me this several times in the last few weeks!
Your comments and thoughts would be gratefully received :)