come away with me

come away with me and we’ll kiss
on a mountaintop
come away with me
and I’ll never stop loving you
three years ago, michelle and i celebrated our 20th anniversary with a trip to wine country in california. it was absolutely the best week i have ever spent with her. it was magical. the sights were terrific. the food was tremendous. the wine… well, it was napa, you know? c’mon! but beyond all that, it was us. just us. a whole week to focus just on her. over the years, we have taken weekends off together, even long weekends. when you’re raising kids, it’s tough to get away for a whole week. but the kids were old enough to have a house-sitter, and with cell phones, michelle could check in with them anytime her paranoid mother-radar kicked in. so for a week, it was us. just us. it was like returning to the days of our courtship, those intimate days when my heart was so utterly fulfilled. interestingly, our theme song for that week was come away with me, by norah jones.
after that trip, i swore when we got back that we would take a week off together every year thereafter. 
it hasn’t happened…
come away with me in the night
come away with me
and I will write you a song
the past two weeks have been pretty special in my spiritual life. i have been wrestling with creating the sunday talk series for the upcoming months and have had a hard time hearing from God. in addition, i am more convinced than ever that threshold is poised to grow in ways we have not seen before as we more intentionally than ever reach out into the surrounding community and let them know that we are their community church, and i have been talking to God about talking to you guys about all that.
to hear what i knew i needed to hear, i did three things: i hiked. i read erwin mcmanus books. i listened to steven curtis chapman songs. i returned to habits which had so often provided a channel for God’s voice in my own past. the last one might seem a bit odd to you if it’s not your taste in music (it’s not so much mine anymore either). but some of those songs have spoken to me in former days in ways that have me where i am today. it was like listening to old love songs that, while no longer in vogue, penetrate to the heart. you know?
God’s word says…
my beloved speaks and says to me: “arise, my love, my beautiful one,
   and come away…”
(song of solomon 2:10, esv)
it’s from a love song in the scriptures that calls us to spend time away and alone with our God.
in mark 6, Jesus says: 
come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.”
you know, time away with God isn’t just for professional christians. it is a vital part of your life. and not just your religious life, either. your whole life. God created you for an intimate relationship. i know that’s a little tough for the guys, since God is so often understood somehow as being male. but like it or not, you have a loving God. a God who created you for intimacy and wants you to come away with him. for his joy and delight, yes, but also because you have important decisions to make. decisions you ought not make alone – especially when you have the ultimate omni-everything God of creation completely there for you. but sometimes, you are never gonna hear him if you don’t do something different. if you don’t pull away and focus only on him.
so… when’s it gonna happen? and what does it look like? think back to the times when you are certain that you had heard from God in a way that fulfilled your heart. what were you doing? what were you reading? what were you listening to? what brought you face to face with God and had you in a place that was magical?
go there again.
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3 Responses to come away with me

  1. annasdad says:

    awesome jeff! its so hard to get to a quiet place and hear, when its so busy and things are so hectic. thanks for putting this on the blog!

  2. Matt says:

    beautiful … for me it is walking in the woods; listening to music: specifically the music of rain falling, trees gently swaying back and forth to the breeze, birds speaking their first words in the morning. reading a.w. tozer, mary oliver, kathleen norris, solomon (ecclesiastes) …

  3. mystykrayne says:

    God spoke to me through Steven Curtis Chapman the first time I ever heard the song “The Change.” I was lucky enough to get invited to a success seminar that day that was paid for by work. I went with my boss, and I did not know her very well. The morning was predictable on how you becoming successful. After we came back from lunch, the first speaker on told everyone to leave the room that were not ready to hear the real way to success. Some left, and we stayed. He said the number one way to success starts with God. I was shocked and impressed all at once, and the afternoon changed my life. It started to storm before we left, and I picked up a zig zigler tape to listen too. He was going through this scenerio of talking to a woman across the table from him. He would ask her if she believed in Jesus, and she would answer yes. He asked her if she was going to heaven, and she replied i dont know. This went on back and forth, until I finally got it.( yes as if I was that woman) I realized in that moment I was going to heaven just for believing. It was like a ton of bricks. Rain pooring down, could hardly see, and I wanted so much more. I needed to hear music. I get a lot from music. I found a christian rock station that made me stop and listen to that song by Steven Curtis Chapman. I was inspired and realized I am going to heaven, yes, and I can live my life working towards the changes just happening. It was not enough, a commercial came on, and I said, God I need to hear that one again. I flipped through stations, and again, I heard that song. I cried the rest of the way home, and I opened my bible. My at the time husband and son, Jayson thought I was crazy. Thank you, God. I love the blog, Jeff. I am sorry I left such a long comment. I felt compelled. God Bless. Terri Dickinson

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