A friend of mine challenged me this week with this question: “When was the last time you sat still in silence?” Well, to be honest, the first thing that came to mind was, “I’m not a monk.” Sarcastic…I know.
If silence is the absence of noise and being still is not moving, well I don’t do either of those too well. Mr. B is shaking his head with an emphatic yes.
Such a little word. With so much attached to it. Reminds me of leaving the bathroom with a toilet paper trail stuck to your shoe. It’s just toilet paper, but when it’s attached to your shoe, it becomes so much more!
It’s just a phone call or cleaning out my inbox. Or a load of laundry that turns into Mount Everest. Or dinner, dishes, and evening round-up. OR, Words with FRIENDS……
And then, there is no time left for those two S words…
Silence and stillness.
To me, being still before God is not the same as studying. Reading His Word and journaling and making my requests known to God are all different from being silent and still before Him.
So, after I told my friend that I am not a monk and we both belly rolled, I honestly said, “I don’t know.”
I then remembered something that I read in “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp (there’s that book again…if you haven’t read it, go to amazon.com now):
“Progress is born out of rhythm, routine, and regularity…set times” and “daily discipline is the door to full freedom.” Ann Voskamp.
The fog started to lift.
The practice of being still and silent before God. Resting in His presence. Focusing on Him. Where more of Him means less of me and the world around me.
This practice started to get lost for me around August of 2005. Anybody want to guess what happened then? Yes, my first child was born. And life demanded more of me. And I opted for less silence and stillness. Less of Him. More to do.
No excuses. I get that. But for me, the connection became clear when a dear friend asked me a curious question.
From that one question, God has given me a practice. And I am so excited about it, that I must share it with you!
I believe that we need a place, a sanctuary that is inviting.
I believe that we need a purpose, to sit still and soak in His illumination.
I believe God’s promises that give me sustenance and that are invigorating.
I believe that I will see progress whereby my soul is nourished and I will have internal peace.
For today, meditate on the practice above. Tomorrow, I will blog about the first one. The importance of having a place to practice. A sanctuary all your own. Where you invite His presence.
And, yes, it is practice for me. It goes against every part of my being. That’s how I know God is up to something big! I have to depend on Him. Join me as I practice sitting still and being silent in His presence.