The Gift of Quiet
“Maintain your personal relationship with God at all costs. Never allow anything to come between your soul and God, and welcome anyone or anything that leads you to know Him better.” (Oswald Chambers)
I was given the gift of quiet last week, no my wife didn’t have laryngitis and no my kids didn’t move out. (They are waiting for us to move out so they can have the house)
For the second year in a row, friends of ours gave me 2 days at a Spiritual Retreat Centre about 25 minutes from our house. Tuesday noon until Thursday at 1 p.m. For some of you this seems like a fate worst than death but it me it was heaven. I grew up as an only child so being by myself is not really an issue for me. Also I don’t have any deep secrets that I have not dealt with that makes me afraid of being alone with my thoughts:)
After I moved my bags into my second floor room I decided to be an organized person and scheduled in these 4 activities for the next 2 days.
1) Prayer and Devotions – I use this 6-step prayer guide from www.prayertoday.org which I find helpful to keep me focused.
2) I worked on the 2015 Calendar
3) Our friends lent me the 20th Anniversary of the Willow Creek Leadership Summit
4) Finally, I was trying to figure out why a rich white man in Georgia would leave 90% of this 24 million dollars to his black housekeeper of just 3 years. The book called “Sycamore Row” by John Grisham
(I was going to add walking to the mix because they have 21 acres of land but we were experiencing near record lows at the time and there was no way I was going out in that)
So I started with prayer, promptly fell asleep, woke up at 4 p.m. and readjusted my schedule again:)
Did anything earth/heavenly shattering happen?
Did I get a new “revelation” on Revelations?
No but I did come away with these thoughts.
1) I am thankful for friends you saw fit to invest in my Spiritual Health this way.
I sent a thank you note and part of their response was, “Don’t think of this as a luxury it’s really a necessity.” While I know that’s true it stuck me as I read it on my computer screen.
2) Until you go away like this you forget how much of a distracted world we actually live in.
“The mind is sharper and keener in seclusion and uninterrupted solitude. Originality thrives in seclusion free of outside influences beating upon us to cripple the creative mind. Be alone—that is the secret of invention: be alone, that is when ideas are born.” -Nikolai Tesla
Just like having people to your home for dinner is worth a month of Sunday small talk the amount of work I was able to accomplish in my 2 days was amazing and quite rewarding.
3) At the end of one retreat book another one.
I have already put in my calendar a full day at a local University Library. Their 3rd floor is a no talking zone and I will be there at 7:45 a.m. when the open and leave when they close. I’m going to invite a couple of local pastors to join me and see if we can make this a regular event.
How about you? Can you take some baby steps towards uninterrupted time?
How about first starting by turning off your cell phone while you work? How about 30 minutes the first time around? If you can’t do it that is a sign of the depth of the addiction you have fallen into:) Or we can spiritualize it and call it a “stronghold”:) Either way you have a problem.
Take a step today and you will be glad you did.
While the Retreat Centre is not a place of total silence there were not many people for me to talk with anyway. The evening meal was plated and you heated it in the microwave which was no problem. The only problem was the microwave was in the Total Silence Dining Room so I was there with 2 other ladies, we were not able to talk we but had to sit there in silence listening to each other chew our food. Awkward!!