By Harvey Moriyama
Saturday, September 17, 2016 was when we went to “A Day with Jesus” with our entire family of 6. The event was hosted by Pastor Dan Christian. Dan takes care of every detail – light breakfast, Keurig coffee & tea, delicious hot lunch and “thought provoking” stations to promote the idea of slowing down and decompressing so that we can actually get close to and hear from our Lord. This event was at a lodge in the mountains above Monrovia, CA.
So often, in our busy roles as husband, wife, father, mother, son, daughter, brother or sister, we can be drawn away from our heavenly Father. Our busyness can make our relationship with God and our family members seem distant and far away. This is why “A Day with Jesus” is important not only for individuals but also for a family.
I wouldn’t be honest if I said that going to “A Day with Jesus” with the family was my idea. It wasn’t. The true catalyst for this idea was my wife, Kari. I was actually a little complacent about the whole thing. The idea of going was also met with a lukewarm response by the rest of the family. In the end, I believe each of our children decided to go out of respect/honor for their mother and admiration of Pastor Dan.
Pastor Dan provided articles and stations that were geared towards bringing our focus back to Jesus. The lodge was secluded and in an area where peace and quietness abounds.
Each of us (our family and 5 others) was given several hours to disperse and dive deeply into our time alone with Jesus. It was during this time, that Jesus was speaking to each of us individually. What was revealed to each of us, on some level, was our own selfishness towards each other. The weight of this burden was so heavy that it prompted a special family meeting prior to reconvening with the rest of the group. During that time, explanations of each of our selfish tendencies were revealed. Heart felt apologies were given as we pursued forgiveness from one another. Times like this can get difficult and awkward. This is especially true when someone that’s so close to you is overwhelmed to the point of tearing and sobbing.
Our Day with Jesus did exactly what it was supposed to do. It provided a time for quietness and reflection such that our own shortcomings and issues were surfaced and revealed. Did everyone in the family benefit from this experience? I would say “yes” but the degree of impact varied from person to person. What it did do was to initiate dialogue and conversation in areas that were normally difficult to talk about. It pushed to the surface, problem areas that had been suppressed over the years.
I’d like to say that everything in the family was just perfect after that “Day with Jesus” experience but alas it’s not. That’s all a part of this broken and fallen world we live in - this side of heaven.
“A Day with Jesus” event facilitates special opportunities to connect with the Lord. It’s definitely not a one and done type of thing. It’s the periodic maintenance that we all need to get through life – sort of like a front end alignment for your car. We need this spiritual re-alignment from time to time so that we can continue to walk down the straight path towards Jesus. I encourage you to be open to attending the next “Day with Jesus” event. He will most assuredly meet you there within your greatest needs.