Quite Time Religion

Here is a thought going through my head this morning, "What religiondoes not allow, grace does". 
I was speaking to someone recently about their struggles with their "quiettime". It struck me while we were talking that the goal of quiet times is not quiet times, but conversation with a person, with God. It's speaking to someone, and allowing them to speak as well. It's about relationship.
I don't know about you, but i don't approach talking with friends with a need for emotional connection or a huge sense of intimacy. I don't approach friendships in terms of duty to be together, but in delight in hanging out, catching up, sharing story, connecting with someone I enjoy. I don't place a burden on others to meet a need or give me some huge emotional lift. I spend time with people for the value of being with them, and allow the relationship to be what it is.
The goal of spending time with God is not found in how much emotional intimacy we feel, but in simply being with him. I approach being with my wife the same way... we just enjoy each other's company, sometimes laughter, sometimes sadness, sometimes just sitting together without talking, sometimes sharing our hearts very deeply... we talk while driving together, we talk over meals, we make dates to hang out without interruption, we turn off the phones, and give attention to each other. And if we get busy, then we go out of our way to make sure we havetime to talk and be together.
It's about relationship, not religious duty. The same applies to our relationship with God.
I can tell you what happens if Sally and I don't have time together... we grow apart. We get disconnected. Hurts turn into offenses. Little things become big things.
Communication fosters deeper relationship with my wife, not an emotional relationship, but just pure relationship, sometimes with emotion sometimes not. It causes our hearts to stay connected, for trust to grow, for affection and commitment to be strengthened.
Spending time with Jesus is the same for me... it is not a thing to do, but someone to talk to. 
If this is true, then spending time with Jesus counts whenever it happens, any time of the day, any posture, any moment... walking, shopping, driving, it all counts! 
Growing, healthy relationships are intentional. If you want your relationship with someone to grow, then you get intentional about meeting up, about sharing dreams and disappointments. The same is true of our relationship with God. 
So let's chuck quiet time religion, as in the duty to do something to please God, and focus on talking to God, on speaking to him as a friend. Focus on the pure value of talking to him about burdens, about joys, and the about the things that burden or distress us. Tell him everything...
Does that mean there is no need to set aside time on a regular basis to read the Bible and pray? Not at all... it will enhance your relationship actually. Be intentional about being spontaneous.
The big bonus is grace. There is an impartation of God's grace that happens when we are intentional about being with God, about accepting his offer to give himself to us. So ask freely, and receive freely. If we love it when friends ask us for advice, for help, how much more does God delight in us when we ask him?
It's about grace flowing down...covering our sins, covering our fears and failures. Let it flow... ask for it, any time and all the time. When you shower or bathe and dress for the day. When you eat food. When you are driving or walking. Be intentional but don't be religious.
Remember, grace allows what religion does not. 
John's gospel says, "Of his fullness have we all received, grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth through Jesus Christ". John 1:16
Make it a receiving day today! Be intentional but not religious.
God bless,
Floyd

--