I have to admit that I’m not a still or quiet person. Never have been. In fact, it should be considered progress for me to even understand that about myself and freely admit it to the wayward bored person that happens to read this post.
Lately, I’ve been reminded anew that both stillness and quietness are considered to be of great value when seeking God. Here’s what these things mean to me:
Physically | Find a place where the distractions are removed – auditory (people, computer, cell phone, etc. – leave them all behind), visually (perhaps minimal lighting), and comfort (be prepared for an extended time).
Mentally | Someone once gave me a great piece of advice in this area – take a notebook with you and when something comes to mind that wants to take your attention, write it down immediately and let it go. The purpose here is to allow your mind to wind down and in that process, you’ll notice that there are things you have swirling around in there so you don’t forget. Allow those things to fall out onto the paper and you can spin them back up after you get done (or decide to let them stay on the page – radical…I know).
Emotionally | This is the hardest for me as I don’t have easy access to the squishy parts of my heart. Nevertheless, there are emotions that I need to recognize are active and taking inventory of them on the front end is a good way to get in tune with what is going on in the present. These feelings will most likely be part of what this time generates. Again, the paper might be very helpful in sorting out the mess (for most of us) inside.
Yep, that’s right…hush.
Zip it pal.
Getting still will be a tough battle, but through that process, many things will be processed. After stillness has been (relatively) achieved, a time of silence is appropriate. Have ready the pen and paper should something come up, but the goal is to sit in passive listening mode. What is often missed with God is due in large part because we are normally in active mode – speaking and doing; all output, no input; exhaling, no pause to inhale.
Being quiet is turning off the loudspeaker we’ve become and enjoying the silence in the hopes that we hear…Him.
Have you ever thought about who you are…really…deep down, who you are. Are the things that first come to mind ugly and shameful or pretty and proud? I’ll bet that for the majority of us, the former is true. That’s our culture – focus on the deficiency and weakness. We think believe that if we could only eliminate those parts, we might just be able to experience love and acceptance – from others and, more importantly, God.
Sadly, that’s me more often that I like to admit.
It’s a lie – all of it.
The Truth is that God loves you – really loves you – exactly like you are RIGHT NOW? He doesn’t require you to overcome anything to experience Him – that was the purpose of the Cross. Access to the Father’s love and acceptance was given to all in one foul swoop – remember the veil that was torn when Christ died? [Matthew 27:50]
What keeps us from experiencing that Truth isn’t some set of rules that God made, but ones we have. What He longs for is for us to come…just as we are and BE with Him; to understand and accept His Grace and Mercy as no-limit gifts that keep pace with our junk.
As we practice stillness and quietness – may we explore how to BE as well…accepting His love just as we are.
I’m off to do some of this myself over lunch…wish me luck – LOL, J/K. Remember:
“Do or do not, there is no try.” ~ Jedi Master Yoda to a doubtful Luke Skywalker…
who only saw the impossible.
picture courtesy of cineSecrets