Be Still Know
Romans 10:17 NLT
‘So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.’
By day three of my five days of silence and stillness, I was in the groove. What had seemed a strange concept was becoming a comfortable way of life. My thinking changed from seeking to fill time to simply living within that time. There were wobbles, yet I gained an insight into living beyond anticipated outcomes.
Silence is so much more than a concept. It is not a descriptor for lack of noise or disturbance. On retreat I will invite guests to explore breath prayer, and often in initial feedback individuals describe how their awareness of sound was enhanced, maybe a fan whirring or a bird singing. Even the sound of their own breathing becomes apparent. Stillness is not the same as stagnant, for stillness is a geography. It is a landscape into which I enter, one where God is to be found. My fears had all been around what I was having to step away from and seek to manage. However, I discovered that silence was not the absence of anything but the presence of someone.
As I waited in the silence, I recognised that the presence of God was both beyond me and within me. The noise created by my anxiety, my activities, my ever-active mind and productive body had, in fact, drowned out the sound of silence deep within me. Now in the silence I sat both with myself and with God, and there was little if any distance between the two of us.
I reflected the extent to which I lived to the beat of the ceaseless demands I assumed and all too readily adopted as my true identity. The prayer of silence was sufficient to bring me face-to-face with God. I did not need to seek out the presence of God in conferences, worship, mission and service. God was the pearl of great price already buried within.
QUESTION: When you pray, whose agenda are you praying, yours or God’s?
PRAYER: Lord, your will be done on earth as in heaven.