The sun was close to setting and I was feeling restless. After a day-long conference in Oakland, I was driving back up north in need of a quality moment with God. My heart beat faster as I anticipated a fresh encounter with the Lover of my soul. I hesitated in my eagerness…in the passenger seat was my 18-year-old cousin who was alternately chatting with me and staring out the window in quiet. He was oblivious to my inner restlessness. Would he think I was totally crazy if I stopped midway home and said I needed to have a date with God?
With daylight slipping fast, I exited off Hwy. 101 and expectantly proceeded down the streets of an unfamiliar town looking for somewhere to spend a moment with God. I briefly explained to my cousin what I was doing and he didn’t seem too shocked, at least not outwardly. Coming around a curve, I recognized the right place. Next to a grape vineyard. Sunset colors in the sky. An enormous persimmon tree loaded with orange fruit shining against the deep green foliage (like a tree in the Garden of Eden, I commented). I parked and gave my cousin the option to join me or not. There, sitting on the hood of my Mazda, I talked to God. An informal, open-hearted prayer. Then I was quiet, and refreshed. My cousin witnessed in silence.
We drove off. That was my second date.
Unbeknownst to me, something had been stirring in my cousin’s heart. My date with God, and my comments about what God had been doing in my life, caught his attention.
A few days later, sitting next to him on the couch, I listened in holy awe and astonishment as a prayer fell from my cousin’s lips that caused joyous outbursts in the heavenly courts. He wanted to give a true relationship with God a chance. He wanted to taste what he’d only heard about. He wanted to know what real love was.
Thus, my cousin became my brother, and my prayer partner, and my inspiration, and my companion in a conversation about God and His Love that continued for the two weeks we were together. We both sensed the miraculous in what God was doing inside of us. We knew this was just the beginning of something momentous!
And that’s why I insist, my second date with God turned out greater than I ever could have imagined.
Postscript: It’s nearing five months since this all began to transpire. In the middle of writing this, my cousin called. We both agree that this journey is not an easy one, but we will keep reminding each other of God’s call to sincere striving and true love. We hold on to the promise that God will complete the work He has begun in us!
* Dates with God began last year in October, following a personal conviction that I was in need of a deep love experience with God. These “dates” had to be spontaneous, in some unique location, and empty of any expectation except reveling in divine love and having a heart-to-heart conversation with God.