So… sometimes my calendar looks a little something like this:
Complete with abbreviations and color-coded entries to boot. ‘Cause when the days fill you don’t have space to write everything and you need some color to add organization to the overload!
And there in the middle, right on this date was marked “Day of Prayer.” For a short period of time that was the only thing noted… funny though, it didn’t stay that way for long.
And so, I sighed, many sighs with a few frustrated “args” added for emphasis because I wanted this day. I needed it. But the day shrunk to a few hours.
It seems like never enough… never enough time, space, ability, priority, peace and place for time in prayer and communion with God.
Then I remembered this post from March 13, 2013 and boy does it speak to the heart of the matter.
I had an unusual experience today: I spent time alone. As a mom of six children along with all of the other things I fill my life with… I rarely spend time alone. But today I had that privilege.
The first thing I noticed was silence. A lack of noise or commotion… just silence.
Then I noticed space. With no one around, I had space to move, to breathe, to relax…
In those brief moments of solitude, before the tasks of the day still had to be attended to, I basked in solitude. My mind was free in those moments and my spirit relaxed.
Last Wednesday I reflected on Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God…” I felt the challenge to take more opportunities to be still. And that is HARD!
But today I realized that stillness, that solitude can come in little moments. It doesn’t have to be a week-long vacation. A few moments can be restorative… if I chose to acknowledge and appreciate the moments no matter how small.
When Jesus’ disciples returned after their time of ministering to the people here is what Mark 6 records:
30 The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. 31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. 33 But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
The disciples were in need of some solitude! Their work was so great that they did not even have a chance to eat! Jesus beckoned them to come away with him… to rest…
But that was short-lived. When they arrived, Jesus saw the need and he responded… and back to work they went.
Do you think the disciples were disappointed? I bet I would have been. “Really, already? We couldn’t have had just one more day alone with Jesus?” Those would have been my thoughts. In fact, those have been my thoughts.
How blessed would I be if I could cherish the moments of solitude I do have… and like Jesus, see the work to be done, recognize time is short, and move on to the ministry of the moment?!
Boy do these thoughts challenge me today! Seek to be still, rest when time is given, and move on to the next moment God provides when that time comes, no matter how soon
Tonight I have a small (silly) gift to offer you: a piece of a quiet place. For the times you can’t get away, for the times the world won’t be silent around you, for the times you need solitude in the middle of chaos…
here is a minute of quiet, stillness, and solitude just for you. May it be for you a chance to come away with Jesus to quiet place and get some rest.