I would like to share a guest post with you today. This is a piece written by Mark Condy. Mark is Celtic Christian living in Ohio. He has a blog on Celtic Christian spirituality which you can find here. I hope you enjoy his reflection!
I got up and hastily threw my clothes on; I had an appointment and I had overslept. I wasn’t late, but wanted to take my time getting ready. I felt like I was going to explode, so excited about the meeting. We had arranged to meet under the oak tree in the park, one of many of our favorite trysting-places where we both love to hang out.
The park is not that far from my home, as I walk, I get caught up in the stream of people, going through the motions, expressionless. They were going to work. I try smiling at one or two as we pass each other; at times seeing a little glint of joy, that is looking to be ignited. The noise and fumes of the cars, causes me to catch my breath and cough. I cross the road dodging the traffic and enter the park, pushing the heavy black gate, resisting me at first. I get to leave the craziness behind, enter my oasis, it is my day off and I’m going to meet a friend.
Who am I meeting with you may be thinking? The story creates a wonderful picture.
Before I introduce you to the person let us look at the word Tryst. I was introduced to this word by a friend back in Scotland and it has a Scottish root.
“The Scotch has an Anglo-Saxon word they use for appointment, the word tryst. It is the word commonly used by lovers and intimate friends in speaking of their appointments. They speak of ‘making tryst’ and ‘biding tryst’ the meeting spot is a ‘trysting-place.’
This word expresses vividly and exactly the real significance of the morning watch. It is a lover’s appointment. Jesus is repeatedly spoken of as the Bridegroom, and the redeemed ones are to be His bride, but the marriage day is still future, and so meanwhile our Betrothed asks every true heart to keep daily tryst with Him.” (Keeping Tryst, By Mr. S. D. Gordon)
Do we have that daily trysting-place that we have a tryst with God, being in that still, quiet, solitary place where it is only you and God, and having no other care in the world for that moment, but God?
If you do a search online and type in tryst you will find some unusual sites come up and it is all about romantic liaison with a lover, having an appointed time to meet, a secret place to spend time together on more of a sensual nature.
The Lord waits patiently wanting to Tryst with you, anticipating, for you to draw close. God delights and has a love for those who are taking time to be close, and a love even for those who are far off. God is desiring, and compelling all who would come, to be drawn close to the Lord, who is spirit and wants worship, out of a loving relationship that is a two way interaction.
Jesus saw the need to go to a quiet place to be alone with God, then how much more do we need that tryst with the Lord. The gospel of Mark 1:35 (NIV) informs us that Jesus Prays in a Solitary Place
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”
Jesus basically spent time with the Lord, went to a quiet place making an appointed time to just be with God having intimate conversations about what the Father wanted done, so as to be about the fathers business.
I have to admit I long to have those quit times, but life just crowds it out, and if we/I don’t make time to have a tryst with God, the time will never be made.
A book I’m reading at present Sacred Rhythms By Ruth Haley Barton, is a wonderful book, I highly recommend, highlighting the need for making and taking time to come to that place of reflecting on our spiritual or soul needs. I love this thought from her book that resonated with me:
“Solitude becomes a place of rest for us rather than another place for human striving and hard work.”
And she points out:
“A reason we are so tired is that we are always working hard to figure things out rather than learn how to cease striving, how to be with what is true in God’s presence and let God be God in the most intimate places of our life-which is, in the end, the only thing that will change anything. We’re busy trying to make stuff happen rather than waiting on God to make stuff happen.”
Here is a saying a friend gave me, it makes me smile, simple and very appropriate for all of us that are so driven:
“Good morning, this is God! I will be handling all your problems today; I will not need your help, so have a good day. I love you.”
I want to conclude with my opening story do we have that anticipation, excitement about meeting with God, having that appointed trysting-place where we both love to hang out. To be honest; I’m not there yet and do this very sporadically.
Help me Lord, help us Lord, to come to that place of desire and excitement of spending time with you.
If you enjoyed this article, please share it on your favourite social media or leave a comment below. If you want to learn more about Celtic Christianity and Contemplation, check out some of the free videos from our virtual retreat: Sacred Spaces: Contemplation and the Celtic Spirit.