Stillness. “Do you want to join me in a day of stillness?” my daughter asked.
I knew that the company she works for allows employees to take a day of stillness, a day spent in prayer and reflection, in quiet community with the Lord. What could be better than a day of reflection spent side by side with my daughter, two sisters in Christ sharing a day of stillness? Sign me up!
The blankets were spread out on grass in the shadow of the National Cathedral. The sunshine was warm, the flowers bright, and the location quiet. We each had our share of books, our Bibles, different colored pens and journals ~ it takes a bit of gear for a day of stillness, or so I thought. I started my time of reflection reading God’s story, delving into some specific scriptures, and jotting my thoughts into my journal.
Then my attention turned to a book my daughter had about the spiritual discipline of solitude and silence, and I began reading. The author spoke of her journey, born out of a sense of despair and desperation, to seek God in solitude and silence. It wasn’t something she came to on her own ~ there was no divine revelation, no best-selling self-help book that inspired her on this journey. Instead, a Christian psychologist suggested that the answers to her struggles might be found in stillness before the Lord. And so she took the first step.
Why not? I thought. Why not try taking that first step? So I pushed aside the books, my pens, my journal, even my Bible. I closed my eyes and tried to just let my mind be still and quiet, to let myself settle, allow my soul the space to connect with God. Doesn’t that sound so poetic, so wonderful? You know what? I realized that I have a very noisy mind and I am not sure I even had five minutes of the silence, solitude and stillness I was seeking.
I could relate to the author’s struggle to find stillness in her busy life and in this noisy world that demands so much of our attention; but now I realize that even if I put myself in a quiet environment free from distractions, I can still be a victim of my own overly active mind. Now I understand why it is called a spiritual discipline ~ clearly it is going to take some practice! But I think it is time.
My soul yearns for a closer connection to God, for complete oneness with His spirit, for overwhelming peace that can only come from knowing God and knowing who He is on a deeper level. God has spoken to my soul in quiet times past in a way that produces nothing less than joy ~ in spite of all that was going on in and around me. Silence, solitude, stillness ~ call it what you will, it is a worthy spiritual discipline that I desire to incorporate into my life on a more consistent basis. I will take small steps to start this journey, just ten minutes of silence and solitude to begin, knowing that God will be faithful to me in the process. How about you? Will you join me on this path that will lead us closer to the Creator of, not only the universe, but our very souls? Let’s enter into God’s sanctuary together ~ He’s waiting for us!
But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds. Psalm 73:28