27 August 2008

Silence & Solitude pt.1

This month at church we're doing a series on Spiritual Disciplines. This upcoming week I'm speaking on silence and solitude. I'm a product of the busiest generation ever so these two things are pretty much foreign to me. I have become more introverted and reclusive the older I get but that is not the spiritual discipline of solitude. I've decided that this week I need to set some time aside to actually attempt to find silence and solitude if I'm to preach about it on Sunday. So here I am, about to attempt my first 20 min session. I'm at the church office which is a quiet space and there is no one else here. Usually in these times I may pray or read or listen to music/podcasts but I'm going to disconnect and simply sit in silence. I want to allow God some space to speak to me, sooth me, assure me of his presence and I also want to challenge myself to remain disciplined. It's easy to give up and say "it's boring" or "I don't hear God" or "what's the point I have more productive things to do" but I need to commit to this time so that I too can be learning with the congregation. As a leader I also want to be an example, a pace setter if you will. I'll come back to this space and let you know how my session went. I plan to attempt a 30 min session and a 40 min session before Sunday as well. Those will be very challenging but I'm hopeful that dedicated time spent with God will be worth it.

Update: In an attempt to get rid of as much noise as possible I didn't turn the AC on in the room I was in. That was probably a mistake as midway through my time in the hot humid prayer room I'm sure I dozed off a little. I also think 20 min was too short. I set that goal not knowing if it would be tough or not. Before I knew it my watch beeped. I was able to pray for several people. I was able to confess some sins and ask for God's guidance about some of the sin in my life. One of the strange things was after having my eyes closed for a minute or two I saw some things that I truly believe were attempted distractions from the devil. Satan was trying to use my quietness and focus to focus on the wrong things. I can't say I enjoyed that but I did enjoy the challenge of working through that and knowing that it was not from God. I'll let you know how my next couple S & S times go...


Jerry said...

I'm always interested in how a believer knows that it's the devil who is the cause of their personal struggles in their thought life, leading me to wonder about the devil's priorities and capabilities.

Out of the millions of Christians, why does the devil himself focus his own time to have a direct influence on that one person? Why is this believer of such a spiritual significance among all other beings that it requires the attention of the "Father of Lies"?

Or is it possible that the devil and God have some great powers in common, like omnipresence, mind-reading, and inaudible thought communication?

Grandpa Steve said...

New disciplines can be refreshing and always lead us to new levels of faith and understanding.

Keep it up

Tom said...

Good for you. I'd like to take a crack at including more silence in my life too. Been thinking about you guys lately - hope Nevada is doing well.

Grandpa Steve said...

well the silence thing seems to be working.

Saskatoon is cool and overcast