McMinnville Seventh-day Adventist Church


A Date With My Lover

What is the best date you ever had? What are the memories? What made it memorable? One of mine was on a moonlit night in the country of Namibia on the West Coast of Africa. I was in Namibia with a group of fellow college students attending a campmeeting where we were invited to lead the singing and represent our college to recruit new students. One of the college students was a lady who happened to be my first ever serious date. I was head over heels in love with this newly found goddess of my life.

It was a cloudless sky. If the Namibian dessert night air was chilly, I did not feel it. I was walking with the love of my life on a sandy trail past high desert thorn trees to the massive wall of a reservoir dam above the campsite where the main campmeeting tent was pitched.

The moon rose and sent a shimmer of light across the lake that seemed to rise right up to where we were sitting with our feet dangling over the dam wall. I don’t remember one word I said, but who of us remembers what we say when we are overwhelmed with feelings of twitter-pated love anyway? The content doesn’t matter. It’s the deeper communication of the feeling of joy, exhilaration, and admiration that flows from one heart to another. It’s the moment of a shared presence, being there fully for each other, amplified by the gentle touch of a hand, or her head resting on my shoulder.

What happened on that moonlit night on a dam wall in the Namibian dessert? What was said is not important, but what was experienced is forever. Communication was profound. It was intimate and focused. I was fully present, with no distractions, so fully engaged with presence of mind and soul that when we got up to leave, I left her box of caramel candies (her favorite) on the cement wall where we had been sitting. They probably became the sport or pleasure of a troop of baboons that passed there the next day.

In an age of ADD-like gadgets, such as smartphones and frenetic electronic game activity, when people’s brains are trained to run non-stop, in a go-go-go hive of busy-ness, with little or no sleep to restore and slow down brain activity, is it any wonder that we are producing a generation of energizer bunnies? Tension-related diseases are at an all-time high, resulting in a pharmaceutical boom. We have created a distracted society. Distraction has become the norm. I predict a time when calm, steady, focused attention will be an oddity, a rare phenomenon to prize and cherish.

How does this craziness impact spirituality and the spiritual disciplines? How do I read the Bible or pray with focused attention? Distraction has become the devil’s most successful tool. If I can’t focus on Him, how can I experience a meaningful date with Him? How can I spend that “thoughtful hour” with Him each day contemplating His sufferings on Calvary?

Christ-focused mindfulness is becoming a lost art and never more needed than today; to sit at the feet of Jesus like Mary and listen to every word from His lips. Is your home blessed with a time each day when the TV is turned off and cell phones silenced, when the family gathers around the Word to hear God’s voice without the distractions of our fast-paced technological gizmos that demand our immediate attention to read the next tweet, whoosh, or ding-dong message?

I’m so glad there were none of these distractions in 1969 on that moonlit night in Namibia. It may just have ruined the relationship, and with it all the dreams of my marrying the love of my life.

- Pastor Jerry Joubert