Sunday, February 27, 2011

Finding the Silence

I love this time of day, it's about an hour before light begins to break across the morning sky. The first bird has yet to awake. The cats are curled at the end of the bed and the dog takes it's rest from chasing. There are no stirrings through the neighborhood. Three generations of my family lay slumbering and still. All is silent....It is then, that I hear God speak.

I do not live in the country, on a farm which I know has busyness and distractions of its own, but in the city. I look to my left now and right into my neighbors living room, I look straight ahead and into my neighbors living room across the street, (that is if the blinds were up) I look to my right and see all the large equipment, gravel dirt and debris of a job in progress for the last three years.

This is what I mean when I say a quiet life in the city. There is noise, disruption and distraction in all of our lives. Silence is something that has to be searched for, sought after, to be found.  A special endeavor of discipline to find where the silence lies and then enter in. Where that of God dwells in all of us.

I once read of a Godly housewife who lived on a farm.  She had may children and duties to perform throughout the day, but she had in place her own discipline of prayer three times a day.  She made special effort to rise early for her quiet morning prayer before starting her busy day. Likewise, in the evening, no matter how long her day went or how tired she was, she never allowed sleep to come until she had spent those last thankful moments with God.

But it was her afternoon prayers that impressed me most.  In the midst of the laundry and the bread baking, with a child or two tugging at her for attention, she would throw her apron up over her head and have her meeting with God. She kept this discipline all her life, and I suspect depended on it for refreshment and nourishment from God for all she was used for in ministering to the lives around her.

As a Quaker and feeling called to the quiet, life as I am, I too have had to make choices. Choices against the flesh and the call to life's busyness and concern. To set disciplines and a definite order of things in my life. Otherwise I feel a waining of the spirit, a lack of closeness to God. This I do not want, when so much of Him is available to me if I will only seek Him. (seek ye first the kingdom of God... and  If you draw near to me, I will draw near to you).  But clearly, we must be there for the meeting.

So yes, the answer to the question of my last post "Is a quiet life really still possible in today's society?" I say again yes!! But it does not come to YOU, you are invited to IT. (behold I stand at the door and knock and whosoever opens I will come in and sup with him.) And oh what a spread of communion with the Lord is there waiting for us! Yes, there are some bitter morsels of clarity of sins and needed repentance but then there is the sweet meat of His word and the peace of His presence.

All this and more is found in the quiet places of life. The set disciplined times of prayer and meditation you make for yourself and also those other times, in the midst of your day. So let us 'Throw our aprons over our heads'....close our eyes on that bus commute to work. Before getting out of our car and running into that store, let us take a few minutes and enter into that quiet place.

The affect on our spiritual lives will be a noticeably positive one. Both in the way we live before God and before those around us.

Ps. 27:8- When you said "Seek my face," My heart said to you "Your face Lord, I will seek."

Blessings to you friends,


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Is a quiet life possible?

Time, illusive, slipping through our fingers-time. The alarm goes off, late again. You rush to the bathroom, rush to get ready. The faster you go the more confusion you have and the less you accomplish. You gulp down some coffee and you're out the door, not really completely dressed. And definitely not together.

You beep open the garage and the car while holding your ear to a cell phone and placing your travel mug of more coffee on the roof of the car.  Putting the coat, briefcase and other necessities in the car you get in, close the door, start the engine, turn the radio on, all while still chatting about this afternoons meeting on the phone. "Yes, I got it...everything is in order." you say on the phone.

Ten minutes later and miles from home your call is finished, so you reach for that much needed second cup of coffee.  "So glad I brought the travel mug today" you think.  Then as you reach toward the cup holder you realize that it is empty.  Yep, you left it on the hood of the car....again. And to add insult to injury, your garage door will be open all day.

This is the beginning of each day. This is the pace of the world.
But wait a minute, aren't we to be in the world, but not of the world?
Is it really possible to live a quiet life in all the ear-splitting noise of the world which surrounds us daily?

Well, in the first place God would not call us to things which were impossible, that's pretty easy right. In 1 Thessalonians 4:11 (I'm condensing)  
"aspire to lead a quiet with your own hands..
that you may walk properly..that you may lack nothing."

So how does one achieve a quiet life? Where do I start? Is it something that is really sustainable today?
Well, these are some of the questions which I will be addressing in my next post, so come back soon and I will let you in on a few more tid-bits from my journey!