As I was sitting on my front porch early yesterday morning, I was struck once again by the silence. I need this time of quiet reading and reflection in my life. Daily I am amazed by how God meets me here and so very often gives me just the Word I need...for that day.
Later that afternoon, I sat down to read an article in the magazine published by the college I attended in Minnesota, Bethel. The article was titled, "Redefining Well-Being; What does it mean to be well?" The article stated that well-being goes beyond physical wellness, to incorporate a balance between mind, body, and spirit. The primary obstacle to such balance and thus well-being? Busyness! Seth Paradis, professor of human kinetics and applied health science, says, "We've have lost the concept of Lectio Divinas (a form of meditative scripture reading) and silence with Christ. That sort of prayer is scary to people now because we're in this culture of talking and never listening. In this busy world of phones vibrating in our pockets - waking and checking the phone and going to bed checking the phone - we're not taking intentional moments of silence. We forget that a relationship with God needs to come first and last, and also needs to be intentional. When we get busy, that relationship is the first thing to go."
This statement echoed a familiar note that I read in my current devotional book, Longing for More: Daily reflections on finding God in the rhythms of life by Timothy Willard. In a reading titled, The Sound of Silence, Willard quotes the scripture passage familiar to many of us, of Elijah standing on the mountain, waiting for The Lord to pass by. "And behold, The Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke the pieces of the rock before The Lord, but The Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was nit in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper."(I Kings 19:11,12) God is present in the silence. Willard goes on to say that "God does not work in ways that make sense in our culture....and in order to hear God's direction in our lives, we need to cultivate space so that we can linger in the silence of God."
If you are looking for a new devotional book, I encourage you to check out Willard's book. He currently lives in Oxford, England where he is pursuing a PhD at King's College, London, studying C.S. Lewis's use of imagination and beauty as apologetic. Being a huge fan of C.S. Lewis, I find Willard's writing delightful and insightful and he "does not apologize for the likes of C.S. Lewis and Soren Kierkegaard popping up everywhere."
Whatever devotional you choose to read, or perhaps just the Bible itself, can I just encourage you to make time to spend in reflective reading and prayer? It will make a difference in your day...in your life...truly. If you manage to get up and are having trouble focusing, start out by listening to this song on YouTube by Fernando Ortega, In the Morning, When I Rise...
Have a wonderful weekend...hoping the sun continues to shine! Warmly, Gracia