What are the words that have formed you? That's what I had the opportunity to contemplate and meditate on as I prepared to preach last Sunday - as I focused on a prayer that is a part of my life.
"Silence and solitude [is] the medicine for curing, among other things, deep distraction." - Chris Hall Lately, I've been rethinking and praying about what solitude looks like for me. As an introvert, I love (and thrive in) quiet. It re-energizes me. It fills the tank. However, I've found over the years (especially now) that it must be more and more intentional, and I believe that rings true regardless of temperament. Factors that change the landscape of our ability to find solitude range from where we live (i.e. living in the city, in a dorm, etc.) to having kids, as well as having networks of relationships, and yes, even technology effects [...]
"...in an age of acceleration, nothing can be more exhilarating than going slow. And in an age of distraction, nothing is so luxurious as paying attention. And in an age of constant movement, nothing is so urgent as sitting still." (Pico Iyer) As I've been pursuing the practice of stillness, I have read a book called The Art of Stillness by Pico Iyer, a travel writer. Throughout the book he makes keen observations about stillness, and in a wonderful Ted Talk that he presented, he said, "The trip, in other words, gave me some amazing sights, but it's only sitting still that allows me to turn those into lasting insights" Here, [...]
"Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." Psalm 46:10 “Let us be silent, that we may hear the whisper of God.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson A rhythm of grace (a life-giving spiritual practice) for me has been the practice of stillness: being still; stopping; resting. It's interesting how counter-intuitive it seems to our culture right now, doesn't it? Being someone who grew up in a generation that spanned a progression from analog to digital, I remember when life moved 25-45 mph, telephones were attached to the wall, photos were shared by waiting for the film [...]
A practice that I was introduced to years ago, that I have been revisiting lately, has been a prayer practice called "Active Prayer," or another way that I've heard it referred to has been called "Breath Prayer." It’s pretty simple: an active or breath prayer is a 6-12 word prayer that you pray throughout the day (usually inside yourself), and is short enough that you can pray it in the length of a breath. The active prayer is a way that many throughout history have put the following scriptures into practice: "I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall always be in my mouth." - Psalm 34:1 [...]
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. Psalm 62:5 Something that has been impactful to me in my walk with the Lord has been integrating quiet/silence into my life. It hasn't been easy. Life get's busy, and it's an odd thing: I've found that when you intentionally seek to create more quiet and silence in your life, you discover how much noise is continually crowding in, and sometimes (oftentimes), it is from within us that the noise comes. Silence is something that we need to cultivate. In Psalm 62:5 we see a word in Hebrew for the kind of silencing of oneself that [...]