Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Quiet Life



Do you do well with silence?

I know of people who can't deal with the quiet, it unnerves them.

For me, quiet is the only time I can think, can write, can pray, can figure out what I'm feeling...what I'm doing. As I get older the more I long for more time to just be quiet. 

In January I decided to begin the year with a social media and blogging fast. I knew I needed to quiet my mind before God in order to know what direction he wanted me to go in for the New Year.

I was too distracted by the loud world of social media. Like someone who overeats out of boredom or anxiety, I was checking into social media the same way. I procrastinated on writing assignments out of fear of not having the right words, so instead I scrolled through Facebook and read countless and for the most part meaningless articles.

My habit was making me agitated and discontent.

My world always felt loud. 

I deleted all social media from my IPhone. I didn’t post any blog posts.

And thus began my descent into quiet. I delegated the first hour of my morning to being still before the Lord. 

I dusted off my prayer journal and began once more journaling my thoughts and prayers. I prayed like I hadn’t prayed in a long time.

Words and ideas for posts began to unfurl.

God felt nearer than He had in years.

Some days in my designated moments of quiet I wouldn’t say a word. Just sit there in the quiet, with my eyes closed and wait.

Meditating is not something that comes easy to me. I have a hard time shutting off my thoughts and being still before the Lord. But this is something I felt pressed upon me to do. Shut up and listen.

I would begin sitting cross-legged on the floor or just in my chair. Eyes closed. Head bowed. And imagine myself sitting at the feet of Jesus. He would be bent over and look me straight in the eyes and be so glad I was there to talk to him, and I would whisper, “I’m listening Lord, what do you want to tell me?"

"Please, Lord, speak” I begged. 

The birds chirping outside my window were the only sound that whispered through my ears. 

“Okay, God. I’m here. I’m quiet. And I’m going to shut up now, for real…please help me shut up.” I would plead. 

On the days I felt him responding, a word or a line from a verse would pop into my head. Sometimes I felt a leading to pray for someone. Sometimes an idea or solution to a problem I had been praying about would take form. 

And, sometimes, I sat there for what felt like hours, when really it was only minutes, with nothing.

Silence.

But the silence didn’t leave me feeling like I had wasted my time. I would get up and feel at peace, rejuvenated.

I always came away from these quiet moments with God feeling renewed in my work and life.

Who would have thought taking a break from your work to sit quietly with God would actually help you be productive?

Jesus did.

Exodus 20:8-11
Hebrews 3:3-4
Matthew 11:28
Psalm 127:2
Hebrews 4:9-10
I'm always more productive when I make time to be quiet. 

It’s been over a month since I took my social media sabbatical and I feel the pull to do it again. I promised myself I would be more responsible with my time and not fall back into old habits. I was hoping I would cling to the remembrance of  closeness I felt with God, but unfortunately, old habits die a long and arduous death.

I miss the closeness, but I'm busy being busy, I tell myself. 

I miss the quiet moments, but deadlines scream, “You don’t have time!”

Oh, but I do. I always do.

Because in my heart I know, the quiet life is a life that knows itself.  It's a life in which thoughts can be heard above the noise and can disentangle from lies and truth.

It’s time to make time, and let God elicit how good and useful quiet can be.

"Silence is a fence around wisdom." German Proverb

How do you seek quiet in your life?


Linking with: RaRaLinkup, #TellHisStory, #ThreeWordWed, Coffee For Your Heart, and Thought-Provoking Thurs.

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