One of my favourite things at Ripon is the response time after the evening talk. This is a quiet time to spend thinking over what you’ve just heard, receiving prayer, and basking in the presence of God. I love the peace and the serenity of it.
When you read the Bible you get the impression that Jesus enjoyed this too. Time and time again he ‘often withdrew to lonely places to pray’ (Luke 5v16). Jesus saw the importance of getting away from the noise of the crowd, the distraction of his friends, and the pressures of life to spend some quality time with his Father.
Let me tell you something – you can do this too.
Jump on a bike and go someplace quiet; be that your local park, hill top, or babbling brook (in my case the murky waters of the Thames). Bring your bible – and a bite to eat – read something short and ponder on it. Think about what it tells you about Jesus. Think about what this means for you. (Hint: remember Sam’s message of PIGS – promises, incarnation (God with us), grace, and surprises). And then just chat with God: open up a two way conversation. If you get stuck go through the Lord’s Prayer and see what you remember from the talks from the summer.
For example something God has been telling me recently is that He is in absolute control over everything. You might hear this described as sovereignty. In other words He is KING. Not only that but he is the King of Kings. This is particularly clear in the story of Daniel (read Daniel chapters 1-6 if interested). Kings and kingdoms come and go yet God remains eternally in charge. For me this is reassuring: that whoever was elected as president, regardless if my siblings keep their jobs, and whether or not I catch the bus on time – He is in charge.
Follow Jesus’ example – you can’t go far wrong.