Saturday, October 30, 2010

Still and Silent

Inward/Outward posted this quote from Henri J. M. Nouwen today. After a very active week, where the temptation to just skip my meditation time in favor of falling exhausted into bed at the end of the day (or scraping a few minutes extra at the start), I'm very aware of the temptations that can arise around a regular practice. And of the momentum that builds when I don't forgo that time, that draws me again and again to that still point.
We need quiet time in the presence of God. Although we want to make all our time time for God, we will never succeed if we do not reserve a minute, an hour, a morning, a day, a week, a month, or whatever period of time, for God and God alone.

This asks for much discipline and risk taking because we always seem to have something more urgent to do and "just sitting there" and "doing nothing" often disturbs us more than it helps. But there is no way around this. Being useless and silent in the presence of our God belongs to the core of all prayer.

In the beginning we often hear our own unruly inner noises more loudly than God's voice. This is at times very hard to tolerate. But slowly, very slowly, we discover that the silent time makes us quiet and deepens our awareness of ourselves and God.

Then, very soon, we start missing these moments when we are deprived of them, and before we are fully aware of it an inner momentum has developed that draws us more and more into silence and closer to that still point where God speaks to us.

The photo is of orchids at Singapore's Botanical Gardens

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