I have been on a journey to find the places and the spaces that I can occupy that allow my mind, my heart, and my body to experience silence and solitude. This journey has been very different than just having a “Quiet Time.” I have a longing to hear the whisper, the still small voice of God.
I love what I have learned from Ruth Haley Barton as it relates to the invitations that GOD has for me. She says, “With a true invitation, there is no coercion, no forcing, no guilting, no manipulation—just a winsome opportunity, an open-hearted welcome and the freedom to say yes or no. An invitation means that I really do have a choice, and I just love that! The other thing that is simply wonderful about a good invitation is that it means I am wanted.”
Her book, Invitation to Silence and Solitude has radically shaped my daily practice. It is not easy to enter silence in a noisy and chaotic world, but God invites us to come and rest; to get away with Him.
If transformation comes from renewing my mind, then how is it even possible when the world’s messages are so very loud? What do I need to think differently about? What needs my attention?
I would love to share a few of my practices that have been life giving to me.
Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:5 that we are to take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. I have found myself paying more attention to my thoughts and my desires as I enter my daily practice of silence. I long to hear the voice of God. I desire more than anything to be a woman who has an ear like Samuel (I Samuel 3:10) and a story like Elijah (I Kings 19:1-19).
This is what I know….God is inviting me to come close. To come away and rest. No coercion, no forcing, just a winsome opportunity to be loved by my Heavenly Father. I long to experience His unforced rhythms of grace. Every day I have the opportunity to respond to His invitation to sit in my sacred space and learn how to live freely and lightly.
One simple idea I use every day when I enter this space is to write in my journal, “Lord, today I hear you inviting me to _________.” Then I wait. I turn my ear toward heaven and ask God to speak. It takes practice to quiet my mind, my heart, and my body; but there is an excitement that comes when the Holy Spirit speaks after a purposeful time of silence.
Today, I invite you to ponder the words of Jesus as written in Matthew 11.
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 (Msg)
WOW… keeping company with Jesus! What an invitation.
Take time today to practice a fixed moment of silence. A place where you can sit and pull away from media, tasks, and activities. A fixed time where you can ask the LORD to speak. Take a passage of scripture and read it, ponder it, and then write it in your own handwriting noting any truths that stand out for you. Close your time with a written prayer to your loving Father letting Him know your desires to “keep company” with Him throughout your day.
I think you will love what this one practice will bring to your soul.
I would love to hear how you are doing.