When I wrote “The Grace of Our Quietness” and posted it earlier this week, I felt that I had veered off course from the series on “A Contemplative Life.”As I thought about the grace of our quietness, I realized that it is applicable in many areas of life. Not only should we extend the grace of our quietness by not repeating what we’ve heard about another person, but we should also extend it when someone needs a friend, a shoulder, an ear to listen, a heart to care. They may not need our opinions or comments, but they could use our support and quiet presence.
The grace of our quietness dovetails perfectly with our thoughts on A Contemplative Life. Just as we extend the grace of quietness to others, we should extend it to ourselves. if we are going to lead a more contemplative life, we must find times when we can be quiet. To “be still and know.” After all, contemplation requires quietness.
The grace of our quietness, extended to ourselves, moves us to a more contemplative life.
Contemplative – it seems to be the latest buzz word. It is pronounced differently today than back in my day. Back then, (and no, it wasn’t in the dark ages), the accent was on the syllable “pla” so that it sounded like contemplaaative. Now the accent is on “temp” so it sounds like conTEMPlative. Same word, different accents, same meaning.
Mirriam-Webster defines contemplative as: given to or marked by long, quiet thinking; involving, allowing or causing deep thought; devoted to religious thought and prayer.
I recently started working on Sunday mornings as the lead teacher for the 2-year-olds at a local church. They have a time of fellowship before the worship service begins, and they bring in a coffee truck for members to purchase a cup of coffee or tea while they mingle and talk with other members and visitors. If one works or volunteers with the children, one’s coffee is free. As I stood in line to get my coffee, a woman walked up to me, introduced herself, told me she was part of the prophetic ministry at this church and asked if I would mind if she gave me a prophecy. (Please keep reading! This is not a blog about whether or not prophesy is real, for today, etc.) I told her I didn’t mind and she proceeded to tell me that she believed the Lord wanted me to know that He has a time of refreshing for me, that it will be like I’m standing under a waterfall and refreshing, renewal and rest will flood over me. She ended by saying that this time of refreshing is near. I thanked her and she walked away.
You are probably wondering what that prophecy has to do with being contemplative. Keep reading – I’m getting there.
On the Tuesday following that Sunday, I heard a devotion and the speaker used St. Judith of the 14th century as an example. One sentence stood out to me: “She led a contemplative life.” It immediately occurred to me that is one way for a time of refreshing to occur. Not that I have to manufacture a time of refreshing – God will bring it to pass in His timing. But spending more time in thought, prayer, journaling, reading the Bible can prepare me for that time of refreshing.
What does this have to do with you? I don’t know of anyone who is not crazy-busy these days and with the holidays just around the corner, will be even busier. Who among us could not use more quiet time? What if we begin today spending more time in thought, prayer, journaling and reading the Bible–how would that change our daily lives? Yes, we may have to give up some things to do this – TV, social media and other distractions – but I am sure if we do give up those things, God will meet us in our contemplation.
So, who will join me in leading a contemplative life?
Please leave a comment to let me know you are joining me.
My sweet hubby and I were blessed to be able to get away this weekend. We didn’t know how badly we needed to get away until we got here. Because of his illnesses, my sleep – or the lack thereof – his sleep – or the lack thereof – my schedule, my new business, on and on ad naseum, we are lucky some days to see each other for an hour. So we’ve come away for a few days to spend time together, to talk, to pray, to sleep late – well, at least he can sleep late, to laugh together – all the things that we love to do together and yet we’ve allowed LIFE to control what we do.
All of us need to get away sometimes – married couples, friends, or by ourselves. It is a time to rest, refresh and rejuvenate. It’s a time to get to know one another again, or to get yourself again. It is a time to renew your relationship with God, or to take that relationship to a deeper level.
Jesus knew the importance of getting away. After ministering to crowds, he would go away to spend time with His Father, to pray, to listen to His Father, to refresh and renew.
God knows the importance of getting away. In the eighth chapter of the Song of Solomon, He says to His Beloved (the church) “Come away, My Beloved.” He wants us to take time away from our busy schedules, from LIFE, and sit in a quiet place and talk with him. He is not asking us to leave town – although at times that is necessary – but just to find a quiet place to “get away” for a while. It can be your porch, a local park, perhaps even a quiet room at your church.
“Come away my beloved,” He asks of you. What’s holding you back?