By Sibyl Towner, Co-Author Listen to My Life
In this busy world have you considered silence as a life-giving rhythm?
Silence is a spiritual discipline that allows you to create a space in this busy world to encounter and hear God. One way to do this is through a silent retreat. A silent retreat is when you put yourself, alone or with others, in a place where you cease speaking in order to listen to God.
I think the first step in a silent retreat is to get in touch with your body: How fast is it going? Is your mind racing? Are you pacing? I often go to my room and sit in a chair placed near a window and gaze out at creation. I let my body slow down to the rhythm of creation. Often what happens is I suddenly realize how tired I am and I might give my physical body a rest by taking a brief nap.
By this time, I am more ready to listen to God, who has been waiting for me to be with Him. I might even say, “God I am here and I want to hear you.” I might read through some scripture – Psalms or a portion of scripture that follows the church year calendar. As I read it, I sit quietly inviting God to speak to me. I am not studying the scripture but receiving God’s word to me. I may journal, be quiet or read around the text. I may have a book that I will read which creates a listening space in me. I may take a walk and invite God to speak to me through his creation. I come back and write or draw what I have heard, prayed, read, rested or delighted in the Lord during my time in silence.
At the end of the day, I slowly ready myself to return to “life.” What has happened in this time of silence is that I have allowed God time and space to tell me that I am his beloved daughter. I have detached for a brief time from “my world” and can now come back to life more free, and more truly myself.
“Come near to God and he will come near to you.” --James 4:8
Why do I delay in coming near to you?