A Deliberate Casualness

I enjoy sitting on the porch in the cool quiet of the morning, sipping coffee and watching the changing light play on the neighbors’ trees as the sun slowly rises. I’d like to spend more time doing that and less time doing some of the other things I do. But were it not for those other things the coffee would be harder to come by and maybe it’s the other things, too, that make the time and the coffee more precious to me.

We need the doing of things, though perhaps not as much of it as we think. Or maybe just different things. When we’re doing the things that bring true reward, rather than just diversion or entertainment, we may well find we have less need of diversion and entertainment.

I don’t think of my porch time as either of those. It’s time for Randa and me to visit briefly at the beginning of the day. Alone, I sometimes use that time to pray or otherwise prepare for the day I’m expecting.

This morning, while enjoying a cup of Coconut Caramel Crunch coffee given me by a very good friend, I wondered about coffee, prayers and praise. I hoped that my prayers and my praise offer a savory scent to Papa God. I imagined him closing his eyes and drawing in that offering in something like the way I pause before each sip, deliberating taking in the smell of the coffee. As I move from inhaling to actually tasting, I hope that Papa also finds the substance of my praise and prayers to be satisfying. A pleasing aroma and also pleasing to the spiritual palate as it were.

I believe that God truly does delight in the time that we take to deliberately spend in communion with him, time spent for the pleasure of the relationship, not just the desperation of the current urgent crisis. Kind of like the time Randa and I spend together on the porch or on the phone just before bedtime when one of us is away from home.

Though all of our interactions and conversations form our relationships, it is the deliberateness of casual time in which I find the greatest pleasure. Might not be too much of a stretch to think that Papa feels the same way. I’d bet he rather enjoys those times of “No, don’t need anything in particular; just wanted to visit for a while.”

H. Arnett

About Doc Arnett

Native of southwestern Kentucky currently living in Ark City, Kansas, with my wife of twenty-nine years, Randa. We have, between us, eight children and twenty-eight grandkids. We enjoy singing, worship, remodeling and travel.
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