I'm asking you these questions because they're the ones I'm thinking about? And I'm curious if I'm the only one thinking these things or if you are too. Could it be you're looking for a deeper connection to God or maybe you just want to be able to UNDERSTAND him more?
I'm going to have to come clean and make some admissions. First off, I'm pretty agitated at God right now. Truthfully, I'm mad, angry, disappointed, confused, perplexed and hurt too. I've yelled and screamed and exhibited my displeasure in a number of ways. All because I want some answers in and for my life. I want his direction in how I can serve him going forward and I want it to be abundantly clear that his hand is all over it. But instead, what am I experiencing is shut door after shut door. And when the doors aren't shut, they remain little "teases". Is this the road I should wait for? God, I'm waiting......but it's reaching that point where the waiting has gone on for too long and the questions far outweigh the answers? Are you still there God? Why can't I hear you? When are you going to show yourself to me? That's where I was at this morning.
I woke up peeved and I wanted God to know that. After a couple of hours of wasted "angry" energy it was apparent I needed to do something else. So.....I grabbed my Bible and the Daily Guideposts. Go on, God. Try and get through to me....that's what my challenging demeanor spoke. Come on God, I thought, show yourself. Here's what happened next.....
When I opened the little book to the reading of the day, this met my eyes. "Be Silent Before the Lord God!-Zephaniah 1:7
I was blown away. I didn't have a come back. I knew God was speaking to me. How did he know exactly the right thing to tell me? How? But that's only the beginning. Yes, there's more. The story within the reading had to do with a young lady who was a student of spirituality. In her studies she became encouraged to "go silent for a week". She felt God asking her to recognize another aspect of their relationship. So, she commenced to be silent.
At first, her family's remarks bordered on silliness. "It seems like there's more room in the house" Dad said. "Is this permanent", said one of her brothers. But then as one day turned to two and then three, the comments changed in there nature. ""We should applaud this form of prayer", said the young lady's mother. A curious youngest brother asked, "Is it hard to be silent?" "At the beginning it is", she said, "then it becomes a prayer".
Needless to say, I found the words convicting. I'm always one to talk first and fire back. I'm sure I don't listen as well as I should. I want things to happen quickly. But silence.....complete silence. Could I do that? Is it possible for me to exact some changes in my thinking and my actions....to just shut up and listen for God? Could silence be a big maturing aspect in my Christianity? Is this another step I need to take?
After arguing with myself for several minutes whether I could do such a thing......I came to a quick conclusion. I NEED TO DO THIS! I need to see if I can make this a "prayer". One that I would remember for the remainder of my life. So here's my next steps. If you want to come along...join in. I'd be honored to have others follow suit.
For the remainder of this week, I'm going to prepare myself and people around me for what I'm about to undertake. Or at least try to undertake. I'm going to have to write something down on a piece of paper to explain my "silence". Some, I'm sure will find this challenge amusing...others might think I'm being a jerk by not speaking. Will my three sons take advantage of my silence and get some shots in on old Dad.....perhaps. But most importantly, I believe I will hear some things I never have before, just by being silent. I've already begun thinking of some of the do's and don'ts. I'm sure there will be parts of the day that are easier than others. Hopefully as the days pass, it will become easier. Hopefully. More than anything, I want to see if I find some great wisdom by being quiet before the Lord God.
|Silence......leads to many things Golden|
"For most people prayer means words. We are familiar with liturgical prayers recited in the cycle of corporate worship. We share in intercessory and healing prayers in which the deepest needs of our hearts are presented to God. Or we join in the extemporaneous prayer of the informal prayer meeting. But, from the earliest years of Christian tradition, a form of prayer has been practiced that does not depend on words.
The practice of silent prayer finds is roots in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures. The prophet Habakkuk counselled his congregation that, upon encountering God, there is only one appropriate response. The prophet declared, “the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him!” (Habakkuk 2:20) Isaiah said simply, “Sit in silence.” (Isaiah 47:5)
This is going to be an exciting, interesting and challenging journey. If you would, pray for me, wish me good fortune, wisdom and understanding. I'm going to need it, for sure. I'm about to find out, "Can I Walk in Silence?"
It all begins August 22nd....