Yesterday was a Saturday, and Saturdays are pretty much always massively busy.
Because you know, I teach on Saturdays. And then Saturdays are the evenings of dinner parties, and karaoke parties, and live music, and general social hanging-out-ness with people.
And so yesterday the plan had been that me and my housemate were going to go and have a dinner party with some friends of ours after we finished work. Except, due to some unforeseen circumstances that plan had to be cancelled at the last minute.
Which left the following situation.
We were free on a Saturday night.
Kind of. Sort of.
Because, the thing was, last night I had been invited to another two events. And my very-valid excuse for not joining them had been my previously-organised friend’s dinner party. But when I finished work yesterday afternoon, I was suddenly struck with this inner-pressure to go and do… Something.
Either one. I could have picked. I could have filled my time and seen my friends and probably had a great time doing so.
But the thing is… Sometimes you don’t need to do something. You actually need to NOT do something.
Sometimes you need to ditch all your plans and just go eat marshmallows with your best friend.
And so that’s what I did.
Actually, what I did was ditch all my plans and go and eat burgers with my best friend. And then go and buy the cracker-chocolate-marshmallow trappings to make super-awesome-s’mores next door at Kayoko’s house (because, you know, she has the real gas stove that’s necessary for marshmallow melting purposes…)
(The healthy eating in our flat had a day off… Just in case you were wondering…)
The thing is, as I was eating awesomely delicious s’mores last night, I realised that I really needed that time. I think I needed it more than I knew I did before I got there. I needed down time. I needed to sleep early. I know this morning, when I left at 7.15am to make a worship practice at church, I was way fresher than if I’d made a party the priority.
So here’s the thing.
Sometimes it’s right to party. And sometimes it’s right to stay in and eat s’mores. And sometimes there’s a third metaphorical option on the table. Or a fourth.
But we need a wisdom in the choice.
Because there are times for the pause. For the selah moment. For the inhale-exhale.
For the s’mores.
So that was yesterday.
And today was Sunday.
And at about 8am this morning, I was sitting in my church, and I had exactly the same feeling in my spirit as I had in the physical last night.
I was just singing to Jesus. This really simple love song. This silly, honest, heart song, with words about loving Jesus and being loved by Him and wanting to know that more in my heart. And our church was pretty empty, just the worship team playing at the front. And I was just sitting on the front row singing this song that was in my heart.
And I realised that I really needed that time.
I think I needed it more than I knew I did before I got there.
I needed down time with the Holy Spirit.
I mean, I spend time with Jesus every day. I read the word. I play worship. I pray. I speak to Him. But sometimes my heart is so busy. Sometimes my mind is so busy. I have so many distractions before I even step out of my front door and into the world.
And then there are those moments where without all of that stuff, I just step into the presence of Jesus, and feel Him wrap His arms around me in the most intimate and tangible way, and I breath deeply and clearly, and realise that I’ve needed that deep breath.
My spiritual s’mores.
Because let’s be honest, if we’re going to get metaphorical about spiritual food, it’s going to be something as kick-ass as s’mores.
I love Jesus so much.
And I guess in those moments sometimes all I know is that I really, really love Him. In a way that just consumes me. In a way that means I will go wherever He says. Because when I met Jesus He marked me in a way that meant I’d never, ever be the same again, and I couldn’t go back even if I wanted to.
I way singing this prayer this morning about pursuing a real intimacy with God. I don’t want to pursue a big ministry, or the desire to be known, or the ambition to build an empire. I don’t want to chase for people to like me or make it about how many of them think I am going really hard after God.
Because this is about the reality.
This connection. This intimacy between me and God.
It’s not about looking like I’m on fire for God. It’s about truly being on fire for God.
I would hate to be making a big noise for Jesus on the outside, and have everyone think I was going really hard after Him, but to have no reality on the inside.
And so right now, I want to spend time with Jesus.
I want to remember that I can’t fake the relationship. I can’t stand before God and fake it.
I can buy fake s’mores, already made. But they taste bad. I can try and hurry them, but unless the chocolate and marshmallows are perfectly melted and combined, they are just not a great eating experience.
You can’t fake them and you can’t rush them. You just have to wait for the melting to happy. For the change to come.
I want to breath it in. And breath Him in.
Like the first time.
I want to love Jesus with everything, because He is so captivating. Jesus, this man Jesus, this real man, this real person. He’s not some mystical figure in the sky. When we sing, we sing to Jesus. We sing to a real God-man in heaven. With eyes like fire, and hair like wool, and feet like bronze, we sing to Him. We have a relationship with a real person. A real God. He is enough.
And so today, as I have prayed so many times before, I am praying again, ‘God, be the most captivating thing in my life’.
And from that place… I can party 🙂
Here are some photos of our awesome s’mores.