This morning in Sunday School we were in the 11th chapter of the book we've been reading, "Invitation to a Journey - A Road Map for Spiritual Formation" by M. Robert Mulholland Jr. I hadn't read the chapter but it was very short and was able to read a lot of it just as we discussed various sections. The chapter talks about silence, solitude, and prayer. I plan on reading the whole thing on my own for more reflection. For now, WOW - the conversation we had is blowing my mind... I feel like my mind hasn't stopped racing since then...As long as I can remember I've needed background noise of some sort while I am working on something. I remember arguing with my parents about doing homework in front of the TV, but I couldn't concentrate without it. Even now, when I read I usually have the TV quietly on in the background or music, or something. With the Bible reading through a year we've been doing, I've been doing the reading on my phone app and I have been listening to it being read as I read - even as I'm reading I'm not doing it in silence - I tell myself I am doing it because I read slower if I listen to the recording rather than just reading on my own. I have a hard time in the silence... as I'm writing this the TV is on, but muted, I can hear my cats breathing deeply as they sleep (lazy kitties) and the air purifier running... I can hear cars outside, footsteps above me, doors opening in the hallway, creaking... even in the silence there is no silence.
I've always struggled with silence and don't know why - I know part of it is that so much of the time my mind is just going and going - constantly processing, constantly thinking about God - what does He want me to do? where does He want me to be? Dangit, I messed up again and feel like I'm never going to be pleasing to God... but wait, I AM pleasing to God because He sees me through the veil of Christ (not sure that's the right term.... looking for a verse I did come across 1 Corinthians 5:17-21 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. but the basic thought is that God sees me through Christ) .... the thoughts just keep coming and coming all the time... Psalm 46:10 says "Be still and know that I am God." Be still - How do I do that? I do know He is God - I am constantly fully aware of Him and His presence in my life... constantly battling with my flesh... what I want to do, what I don't want to do,
Gabe said something in Sunday School, "Who I am has no bearing on who I should be." Just like 1 Cor. 5:17 says, the old has gone, the new is here - just because I have certain tendencies doesn't mean God doesn't want to stretch me beyond what is comfortable and maybe practice some silence... some solitude.... some time away from all the distractions where it can be just me and God - just quiet, me and His Word and a notebook or computer to journal... kind of scary...
Sometimes I feel like I am constantly in silence and solitude in my head and that is part of the problem. Today I am reminded and encouraged by Sophie's reminder in the read through the Bible blog yesterday:
"Then God spoke- this is not about production.
This is not about me.
"So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow."
Only God who makes things grow.
I feel like right now I just need to rest in that - and just trust God.