LIVING IN THE PRESENCE : Practising Stillness
- On May 24, 2020
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- 2020, guided, prayer, week, WoGP
Mark 6 : 30 – 32
Many of us now find ourselves immersed in a constant stream of information – significant and insignificant, profound and petty. If we ‘plug in’, as so many of us do daily, there is little room for stillness, for quiet, for breath. Family life is ‘faster than ever’. The conveniences that make things more efficient, simply make it possible to do more, and many of us are now constantly accessible to our employers or work places through our communication devices.
How do we allow the space for God’s voice to break through the noise of our lives? When do we intentionally allow ourselves to enter the stillness to encounter God’s presence?
It is sometimes frightening to do so. We might be forced to face ourselves, our lives, and our choices. We may fear – even as we long for – profound connection with God. Through the rush of our desires and denials – what might God’s desire be for us or of us? What might God ask of us? Say to us?
I have found I need not be afraid. It is not guilt that I find in the stillness but life, breath, connection, strength and joy. God is not ‘out there’ waiting to get ‘in’ to judge me. God is ‘in here with me’ waiting to lighten my life and soften my heart.
Elijah looked to the wind, the earthquake, the fire, all the places that were supposed to hold God’s power. It was the silence, however, that finally drew him out to connect with God. We need that silence. Jesus drew the apostles away for spiritual rest, and it is Jesus who can speak a word to quiet the chaos of life’s storm and renew our faith.
It used to be that I would take myself to the shore in the morning. The sea was my spiritual director, a source of connection and the place where I could ask the question ‘where is God in this time?’ Now it is my dog who takes me out in the early silent mornings where I begin my day with God. Now it is yoga practice that quiets me, connects me with my own body and holds me close to my breath and intention. Now, it is the moments of connection in communal worship where God is given space to move and speak. In all these places and more, I hear the invitation . . . “Be still and know that I am God.”
For Reflection and Journaling:
1. What is my major challenge in finding a still place to be with God?
2. What is my fear being in the Presence? my hope?
Breath of Life, awaken again in me my deep desire to allow you to draw closer.
In that desire, may I ensure the time and space to sit quietly in your beloved presence. Amen.
Material produced by Week of Guided Prayer Network, Hamilton Conference, United Church of Canada, 2011.