Nothing gets the day started like sitting with God.
Some days as my sitting comes to a close I feel eager to begin the activities of the day.
Other days I don’t want my sit to end, I just wish I could continue this special communion a little longer.
Today I want to keep sitting with God, but my heart is full and I know I’m ready for the day, come what may.
As my sit ends, I am already looking forward to this special time tomorrow.
Sitting with God.
I’m not exactly sure what went wrong, but I completely lost control of my calendar over the last three weeks and nearly drowned.
There were a couple of emergencies, some unexpecteds, and some scheduling difficulties that created a perfect storm.
For the past three years I have scheduled a day-long silent retreat for the first Monday of each month (moved to Tuesdays when a holiday falls on that Monday).
The silence is a good discipline for me since I am regularly in situations where I have to talk. The silence recenters me on God. It reminds me that the world goes on when I am not talking.
And this month, my silent retreat came at just the right time to help me reset. It served as a circuit breaker to shut down my activity before fire broke out.
While I have renewed my commitment to the healthy rhythms of my rule of life, I will probably experience another perfect storm. And when I do, I may need this circuit breaker again.
Lord, have mercy.
“Take time to be separate from all friends and all duties, all cares and all joys; time to be still and quiet before God. Take time not only to secure stillness from man and the world, but from self and its energy. Let the Word and prayer be very precious; but remember, even these may hinder the quiet waiting. The activity of the mind in studying the Word, or giving expression to its thoughts in prayer, the activities of the heart, with its desires and hopes and fears, may so engage us that we do not come to the still waiting on the All-Glorious One. Though at first it may appear difficult to know how thus quietly to wait, with the activities of mind and heart for a time subdued, every effort after it will be rewarded; we shall find that it grows upon us, and the little season of silent worship will bring a peace and a rest that give blessing not only in prayer, but all the day.”
“No one questions the need of times of formal address to God, but few admit in any practical way the need of quiet waiting upon God, gazing into His face, feeling for His hand, listening for His voice. God has special confidences for each soul. Indeed, it would seem as though the deepest truths come only in moments of profound devotional silence and contemplation.”
— Charles H. Brent
As I continued thinking about issues related to yesterday’s post about prayer and presence, I remembered the lyrics of “The Silence of God” by Andrew Peterson. This songs touches my heart deeply. A quick search on YouTube turned up a slideshow set to the music of the song. I wanted to share it with you.
If you would like to check out the music of Andrew Peterson, click here.
This quotation has had me thinking all day long!
“God withholds an answer to our prayers not only when they are unworthy but when he finds in us such greatness, such depth–depth and power of faith–that he can rely upon us to remain faithful even in the face of his silence.
I remember a young woman with an incurable disease and after years of the awareness of God’s presence, she suddenly sensed God’s absence–some sort of real absence–and she wrote to me saying, ‘Pray to God, please, that I should never yield to the temptation of building up an illusion of his presence, rather than accept his absence.’ Her faith was great. She was able to stand this temptation and God gave her this experience of his silent absence.
Remember these examples, think them over because one day you will surely have to face the same situation.
I cannot give you any exercise, but I only want you to remember that we should always keep our faith intact, both in the love of God and in our honest, truthful faith, and when this temptation comes upon us, let us say this prayer, which is made of two sentences pronounced by Jesus Christ himself:
‘Into Thy hands I commend my spirit,
Thy Will, not mine be done.'”
From Living Prayer by Anthony Bloom
John Main, a 20th century English monk wrote the following:
“Meditation has nothing to do with quiet reverie or passive stillness, but with wakefulness. We awaken to our nearness to God. We realize that the power of creation, the energy of creation flows in our hearts.”
from Moment of Christ by John Main