Silence & solitude
When was the last time you were silent, apart form perhaps when you sleep?
It never happens in our world, we are constantly connect, talking, interacting. Even when we are not with others there are distractions that get into our heads and hearts. The digital connectivity of our world means often we never switch off and we are permanently contactable.
Jesus seems to withdraw to spend time alone with the Father a lot.
“At once the Spirit sent [Jesus] out into the desert, and he was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.” (Mark 1:12)
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (Mark 1:35)
“[Despite Jesus’ plea that his miracles be kept secret] the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” (Luke 5:15-16; see also Mark 1:45)
Check out the teaching
Do the practice
This week take time to cultivate a rhythm of silence and solitude. Remember this practise is so alien to many of us that it might take weeks or months of practice to get comfortable and enjoy doing it.
Find a quiet space - somewhere you can be alone, grab a cup of coffee or something and relax
Quiet yourself - close your eyes, breathe slowly for a couple of minutes
Invite God - take time to invite God to speak to you in this time
Open your Bible - either on a Psalm, or gospel passage and read and re-read the passage allowing the words to dwell in you and take time to chew on them
Reflect on what God might be saying - what stands out from the passage? What might God be saying to you? Take time to reflect on these
Sit and be - try as much as possible to simply sit, meditate on God and what he has spoken to you about. If distractions come to mind simply offer them to God and try to return to fixing your mind on Him
Have a close - thank God for being with you, and maybe offer the Lord's prayer.
Try to repeat several times a week, daily if possible. Journal what God is saying to you.