While the Republican and Democratic National Conventions have led the news in recent days, all is not quiet on foreign fronts. Yesterday, Britain’s Prince Harry appeared at a children’s charity in London with his clothes on. This is news, of course, because of photos posted online a few days ago that showed him wearing nothing but a wristwatch and a necklace.
The prince, known to the world as the younger son of Princess Diana, had been playing “strip pool” while on a Las Vegas holiday. A palace official explained with typical British decorum: “Prince Harry has been on a private holiday before he resumes his military duties.” He will apparently be in uniform for them.
In other U.K. news, Britain’s Prince Andrew rappelled 785 feet down the side of Europe’s tallest building to raise $460,000 for charity. “I will never do it again,” he said afterwards. One more item from England: a turquoise wool suit worn by Margaret Thatcher has sold at auction for $39,670. A buyer in South Korea purchased six other outfits, all worn by Thatcher before she became prime minister.
Apparently our country’s fascination with our leaders is not unique to America. We are drawn to websites that document President Obama’s graying hair and his wife’s fashion sense. We are equally interested in Mitt Romney’s refusal to drink coffee but willingness to eat coffee ice cream, and in his wife’s battles with cancer and multiple sclerosis.
With all the attention we give our leaders, how much time do we spend with our King? Not much, it seems. Yesterday, a friend sent me a study titled “What Americans Actually Do All Day Long”. It reports that we spend 9 hours and 12 minutes each day working and commuting to work. We spend 7 hours, 39 minutes sleeping; 2 hours, 52 minutes on leisure; 1 hour, 7 minutes eating and drinking; 48 minutes grooming, and so on. How much time do we spend on “volunteering, religious activities” in total? Seven minutes, 48 seconds a day.
Our culture neither recognizes nor rewards time spent alone with God, yet this is the most empowering time we spend all day. In Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling, I read yesterday this statement phrased as God’s word from Scripture to us: “In closeness to me, you are safe. In the intimacy of My Presence, you are energized. . . . Ever since the Fall, man has experienced a gaping emptiness that only My Presence can fill. I designed you for close communion with your Creator. How I enjoyed walking in the garden with Adam and Eve, before the evil one deceived them! When you commune with Me in the garden of your heart, both you and I are blessed.”
How much time will you spend in that garden today?