Friday, August 3, 2012

Be Quiet

Freeway traffic...
Cleaning....
iPhone...
Working out...
Facebook...
Music...
Dogs barking...
Kids playing...
Schedules to keep...
Reading...
Television...
Praying...
Telephone ringing...
Things to write...

It's really hard to be quiet.

"Ummm, Cynthia," you say, "If you're talking about being quiet, why are you including things like reading and praying?  That's what I do when I want to be quiet."  Yes, but, let's face it, while reading or praying, though we're quiet on the outside, we're still spinning on the inside...questioning, pleading, laughing, processing, planning, dreaming...our minds are still full of noise.

This week I'm being led to be quiet.  Easier said than done, as those of you who know me will attest.  I mean, I can train myself to listen to others, sit quietly, and speak only when it's my turn (though my husband may disagree with that statement from evidence of family vacations in Alabama with six VERY loud women!).  But I don't think there's really ever a time when I'm just silent...my heart, my head, my soul.

Not to steal Gwen Smith's thunder today from her blog but I must reference it, as it really confirmed this calling.  She said, "Now, when I say Sabbath, I mean the priority of sitting before the Lord just to sit with Him … quietly … expectantly … to listen. Though I do include God in my days and breathe prayers throughout, when I don't sit before the Lord – and exercise the spiritual discipline of being quiet before God – it seems that both old and new burdens can tie my heart into a frazzled knot...As I sat in the cool still of the morning with a hot mug of coffee in my hand and the warming presence of God in my soul, the burdens of my heart began to drift away. Direction came. Joy resounded. Mercy rained. Peace … deep peace fell."

I want clarity of direction!
I want resounding joy! 
I want raining mercy! 
I want deep peace! 
But am I courageous enough to put down the computer? 
The iPhone? 
Even the book or the music, to be quiet and allow it to come to me? 
There have been more nudges this week to encourage me to do so.

Restful Scripture quotes:
"The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters; he restores my soul." (Psalm 23:1-3, NIV).

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30).

Urgings to keep my big mouth shut:
"Wait quietly in My presence while My thoughts form silently in the depths of your being."

"Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry."

"This ability to verbalize is an awesome privilege, granted only to those I made in My image.  You need help in wielding this mighty power responsibly."  (Cynthia side-note...Uh, ya think?)

Even my schedule this week:
My husband is out of town until next Monday afternoon.  (Translation:  Four opportunities to be quiet for hours after the children go to bed.)

My kids have been in performance camp Monday-Friday 9AM-5PM.  (Translation:  Being alone in the summer NEVER happens!!  I could be quiet ALL DAY if I wanted to.)

Hello, Cynthia, how many more things does God need to put into place for you before you get the drift and follow direction?

It's time to begin.
To stop worrying...
stop thinking...
stop wrestling...
stop planning...
stop cleaning...
stop reading, writing, praying...
Time for direction, joy, mercy, peace.
Time to begin
the soul cleansing act of quiet.


{Will you join me in taking Gwen Smith up on her challenge of ten minutes of quiet each day for a week?  I'd ask you to pray for me but that prayer time may cut into your available 10 minutes!  Good luck...}

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