Savoring things has become a lost art. I used to savor a new book. Have you ever smelled a brand new book? It’s all fresh paper and ink void of the muskiness of the library or floorboard of my car. At one time, I would slowly read and absorb a book. Lately, I just fly through them. I might remember the story and some of the details but I don’t always absorb the message faintly veiled behind the words.
When it comes to food, we rush through meals on our way to meetings and sporting events. When was the last time you really tasted your food? There was a time I could eat something and dissect the taste to recreate the recipe. I love the flavor of a simple steak. I can remember eating steak that melted in my mouth, the flavor of the steak, the grill, crushed pepper and liberal amounts of butter blending together.
And of course, there is coffee. One of my favorite drinks at Coffeebucks is the Carmel Machiatto. It is a latte, with an inch or two of foam liberally drizzled with carmel. If it is made correctly, then sweetness of the carmel blends with bitterness of the coffee as you begin to sip. It is a drink to be savored; sipped not gulped.
How about God? When was the last time you savored God? Psalms says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”
I am a “doer”; by nature I like to take action and see results. When I was younger in my walk with God, I can remember quiet times in a dimly lit prayer room just savoring the Holy Spirit. I can remember long quiet conversations. It felt like fellowship more than anything else.
What about a time when you met a friend for coffee and chatted for hours. You just hung out and savored the time. Who does that anymore? I had a group of close friends and we hung out at a coffeehouse in Austin called Austin Java Company. I would go there to read a book or write. Almost always a friend would show up. We knew where to find each other. We spent our free time “hanging out”. It isn’t so much the “hanging out” that I miss, it is the savoring of friendships that revolved around mutual love for Jesus. There was no goal or agenda to the time we spent. It was fellowship.
I had a “hang out” place with God too. At the PromiseLand in Austin, there is a “prayer garden”. It was the place I first experienced the presences of God on a personal level. When I came back to the Lord in my twenties, I spent countless hours in that place. It was so familiar to me; it was like home. Not because of the room, not because of church but because my God was there.
Now days, we make time for fellowship maybe once a week. Sometimes it is the same with God. Sure, I talk to Him every day, but it’s not the same as heartfelt fellowship. It’s not the same as those days when I had already prayed for an hour, so I was just hanging out talking to Him with no agenda, no requests, and no time limits. It was just “God time”.
Getting in to that secret place with God requires, savoring. It requires true worship; worship without an agenda.
With every friend and every lover (husband/wife) there are places, smells, tastes, touches that flood us with memories. It’s the same with God. There are things that trigger my “God memories”. Those memories are of specific times and places when I met with Him. A few weeks ago, I was at the PromiseLand. I could not pass up an opportunity to at the very least walk through that prayer garden. They have several prayer rooms on the campus (I think every building has at least one room dedicated to prayer) but those rooms are not the prayer garden. The room has been redecorated recently. They put beautiful lamps, murals and maps on the walls. It is lovely. When I prayed there, at times, half of it was a storage facility for the churches’ famed “Jesus the Miracle” production. I’m not fussy. It is the Holy Spirit it the room that created the true atmosphere. There is nothing wrong with decor attempting to reflect the spiritual beauty of the room. As we walked through that room memories came flooding back; the first time I spoke in tongues; the time I was “re-baptized”; the first meetings of the “Circle of Servitude” prayer group; praying in that room a few days before my sister’s wedding not understanding why I wasn’t married yet. All of the memories, the ones that are resounding in me, echoing in my spirit are the quiet times, just talking to my Friend; hanging out; savoring.