Have You Ever Been Stood Up? -- Third in a Series on Prayer

My friend Elizabeth (not her real name) has been divorced for quite some time. In the days following their breakup, her ex-husband faithfully kept his commitment to the regular visitation schedule the court set up. Every other weekend, for two weeks in the summer, and on alternating holidays, he would collect his young son, invest in their relationship, and share responsibility for his care.

As time passed, however, his visits became more sporadic. He’d call at the last minute and say something had come up, or that he’d been called in to work. Sometimes he didn’t have an excuse. He’d just say he wasn’t coming to pick up his son that weekend.

As John grew older, he lived for those weekends with his dad. One day, Elizabeth told me, her ex called John to set a time to pick him up the next day. He told him he'd gotten tickets to a baseball game, and that they would eat at John’s favorite pizza place after the game. John was thrilled.

When Elizabeth went to John’s room the next morning to awaken him, she found him already dressed in his NY Mets t-shirt and ball cap. His glove and ball sat beside him on the bed as he watched out the window for his dad to arrive.

“Oh, honey,” she exclaimed in surprise, “your daddy’s not coming for an hour or two.”

“I know, Mom,” he responded, “but I just want to be ready.”

You already know the ending to this sad story. John’s dad never arrived. He called that night around bedtime to say that something had come up, and they’d do it another time.

John cried himself to sleep.

Sadly, it’s a scenario that plays itself out in homes across the country every day. And not just homes that have been broken by divorce. Sometimes it plays itself out in my home.

Every day I have the opportunity to spend time with the most precious person in my life—God. And every day he waits for me. He watches for me. He eagerly anticipates my arrival. He longs to talk with me, listen to me, and share my life. He desires to guide and encourage me. Best of all, he just wants us to spend time together.

And some days I stand him up.

I leave him waiting while I pass by, intent on “more important” things. Sometimes the neglect is deliberate. “I just don’t have time today,” and sometimes the slight is unintentional. I mismanage my time, give in to the tyranny of the urgent, or oversleep.

The result is the same--God is sad, and I am the loser.

How about you? 

If you struggle with keeping a regular appointment with God, will you join me today in making our daily time with him a priority? 

"I Miss My Time with You," below,  is an eloquent and beautiful Amen to this post.

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  1. Totally didn't see that ending coming. Excellent application of your story.

  2. I love this! I have had similar things happen to my son waiting for his Dad and I know the hurt, and to see that hurt and realize we are doing the same thing to our Lord and savior is just heart breaking. Thank you for this wonderful reminder.