OFF ON MY OWN!… Exodus 25: 1-22, Matthew 6: 5-6

When I was a student at the Moody Bible Institute many of the original buildings, from the 1880’s,  were still in use.  Evangelist D. L. Moody’s office and first classroom building, 153 Institute Place, was still standing.  My favorite hang-out was the SweetShoppe,  manned ably by Pop Mitchell.  His cheese omelettes were the very gooiest best!  I spent way too much time…and money there as a student.  Those were happy days for me. Over a thousand students on one city block in downtown Chicago!

But I had a secret place on campus that I cherished.  I’ve never told anyone about it.  Until now.  It was on the second floor of Crowell Hall, where old classrooms were empty as empty could be.  No one ever around after noon.  But me.  I would take the back stairs, avoiding the elevators, and walk the empty halls until I came to a large classroom with the highest ceilings and biggest blackboards you’ve ever seen.  I just loved that place.  It had those old student desks made of wood with a flat surface.

A certain musty smell hung in the air.  A scent of a very old building.  I would sit there for upwards of an hour at a time, all by myself… praying and talking with the Lord.  Time with Him.   No one would bother me.

I’ve never forgotten that special place.  I was reading about the Holy of Holies in the Old Testament, where only the High Priest would enter once a year to offer atonement and prayers for all the people of Israel.  It was the inner sanctum of the Tabernacle, with very little furniture.  It was a simple place.  Gold…a wooden box that contained the tablets of the Ten Commandments,  Aaron’s rod that budded and a jar containing a bit of the food they called  ‘manna’.  That was it.

Simple.  Not all 613 commandments but only 10.  Ten was enough to guide God’s people on how to live for Him and with each other.  Not complicated.  No code to break.  No hidden messages to trip us up.  Just 10 commandments.  On top of the golden Ark were two angels that had been hammered out of the same piece of pure gold,  reminding God’s people that He’s watching over for us.   His angels cover us,  and while we never see them in action yet they are there.  Covering the Ark.  Below them is the Mercy Seat, the solid-gold covering that fits exactly over the wooden box.

10 commandments–the best way to live.  Words of God.    A rod that budded–miracles abound with Him.  A jar of manna–His provision.   Angels watching over us.

Let me recommend that somehow, somewhere, sometime you get away with the Lord.  Spend time with Him.  Pray.  Read your Bible.  Jesus and you.  Together.  Nothing formal or forced.  Cherished moments…previews of things to come on a much larger scale!

Prayer:  Lord, thank you for times alone, you and me.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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