This semester I am taking a course on spiritual formation. Many will ask…why would you pay for that kind of class? My push back is that this is exactly the kind of class that seminaries need more of. Too many students get overwhelmed with the work that they lose intimacy with Christ.
As one of my many assignments, I had to go on a 3 hour retreat of silence and solitude. I never do solitude or silence. I love time by myself, but it usually involves tv, music, internet, computer stuff…etc. Quietness and solitude are not a part of my forte.
I spent 3 hours last week walking around Oak Hills Park (couple minutes walk from home and work) and sitting under this tree (picture above) on the bench there. No tv, no ipod, no computer, no people, no distractions…it was HARD! The shade was the perfect place because it was 90 outside and pretty hot. Here are some of the thoughts I wrote down during my time:
- Only God would know there has to be an afternoon breeze to make a perfect summer day.
- Silence is rare in my life.
- I’m pretty preoccupied.
I don’t think it is just me who has days and weeks that are crowded and full of noise. Can God speak in the midst of those? For sure, I don’t want to limit God. But I will say that too often God speaks in a quiet voice and our lives drown out his voice.
I’ve made a commitment to spend 5 to 10 minutes a day in silence and solitude for the next 4 weeks, starting this past Monday. I have ZERO IDEA how I’m going to do it, but I’m going to try. I’m excited to see how this runs into my ministry at Sunset and changes my relationship with Christ.
“By periodically distancing ourselves from schedules, noises, and crowds, we become less captivated by the demands and expectations of others and more captivated by the purposes of God” (Kenneth Boa).
Before someone emails me about how my post has anything creative in it…let me answer. I’m interested to see how me making a conscience effort to be still before God daily, integrates into music ministry at my church. Every worship ministry I’ve been a part of does a great job of making noise. I wonder what kind of creative ways we can draw people to God to hear his quiet voice.