What does God really want from you?

I understood this better after a crisis in our home. One day without warning, our toaster oven broke. It was just before our wedding anniversary, and in our entire married life, we had never bought a toaster oven.

We received one as a wedding gift. It lasted about 15 years. When it died, Leanne’s brother and sister-in-law got a new toaster oven and gave us their old one—which was identical to our original one. It must have been a wedding gift, too.

For nearly a quarter of a century, we essentially had the same toaster oven. Then suddenly, we were bereft. Setting aside our grief, the following Monday night about 8:30 we went to Target on a quest. Standing in the appliance aisle, we ran into someone we knew and sheepishly explained why we were there. With great seriousness, I added, “Actually, this is our date night. I really know how to show a girl a good time.”

We laughed, but as Leanne and I reached the checkout counter, we realized it was kind of true. I had been at an out-of-state conference for two weeks and got back late on a Friday night. The next day, our daughter, Jane, graduated from high school. We had all kinds of friends and family in that weekend, so that Monday night was really the first time we had been together, just the two of us, for over two weeks.

As we stood in line, my sweet wife turned to me and said, “Honey, it’s OK if this is a date night. I don’t really care what we do. I just want to be with you.” That’s when I knew we still loved each other, because that’s what I wanted, too.

God just wants to be with you. It’s what God wants more than anything, even if you’re buying a toaster oven. That’s why the greatest gift you can give God is you. Your time. Your presence. Your attention.

In the blur of everyday life, it’s easy to push time with God to the side. Just know that every moment you spend alone with God is a gift God treasures.