This is certainly our Thursday night tradition. We don’t partake of the experience every week, but when we do it’s one of our favorites. It was just the four of us, as we played games together on the children’s menu. We’ve taught our love for a patio seat to our grandchildren, so at their request we sat outside near the waterfall. The iron tables were similar to our own patio with other diners adding to the chatter as we talked amongst ourselves. It was then an older gentleman walked outside talking loudly on his cell phone. His white hair and struggle to use his phone confirmed our thoughts he was likely old enough to be one of our parents. He brought a smile to our face watching his zealous conversation take place.
Due to the volume of his voice it would be difficult to say we were eavesdropping. We weren’t intentionally listening it just happened to be almost impossible to ignore. He stood next to our table as he communicated with his intended party. “Hey listen, do you want to come here to eat with us? We want you to join us for dinner!” he passionately spoke. “Where are we? We are at … at…” his words trailed off as he bent over to my husband and quickly requested “Where are we?” We both chuckled as my husband told him the name of the restaurant. It quickly became obvious he was speaking to his grandson.
He ended his conversation and walked back inside. As we proceeded with our games while waiting for dinner my thoughts trailed off temporarily. I began to wonder if the grandson would show up. Did he understand or know the expression of love in his grandfather’s heart? If only for a moment, I felt a jump in my own heart as he offered an invitation to his grandson. I looked at my own four year old grandson sitting across the table as he drew with colors and talked expressively with broken words and funny animation. What is it, I wondered, that will bring my grandchildren willingly to spend time with us when we are older and they are grown and on their own?
As we walk with the Lord, isn’t this the same? He presents an invitation for us to spend time with him. He loves us in a way we can’t begin to understand. His Word is filled with expressions of love for us. But do we hear Him? Are we willing to set aside our own plans and busy schedules for a few minutes with God? Is He like the grandfather at the restaurant–letting us know He is there waiting for us to respond to his invitation for some of our time?
Early in the morning, when I first wake up there is a plan for quiet time with my God. But I may oversleep or wake up with a million things on my to do list and hop out of bed without a thought to the time lost with my Father. Instead I begin thinking ahead, maybe while the kids are at school, or possibly tonight before bed. If I allow my time to get away, I find the day is over and the invitation passed without a second thought. But my heart yearns for a relationship with Him, just as the grandson in the restaurant dropped everything he was doing, to spend time with his grandparents. This didn’t come from years of being too busy, it came from years of them being a part of his life, it’s their relationship.
Are you hesitating to walk away from the world’s distractions? Or do you respond to His voice calling out to you, wanting you to spend time in His presence? My time with God is growing as we develop our relationship spending time together throughout the day. He is with me, all day every day. I listen for His voice and press in when He calls out to me. I encourage you to set aside your distractions and cultivate your relationship with Him. Be as the grandson who came at his grandfather’s call. Express your love for God by inviting Him to be a part of your own life.
Jesi Steiber lives in Fort Worth, Texas and is our newest addition to the MPN authors. She is married to a man she describes as “awesome,” who makes her smile every day. They have four children and four grandchildren. A favorite scripture is Ruth 3:11: “Now my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you whatever you ask. For all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence.”