Archive for the ‘Quiet’ Tag

Waiting Quietly   Leave a comment


Image provided by seekingintellect.com

Image provided by seekingintellect.com

One of the biggest challenges that I have is taking time to sit in silence.  I am a highly driven individual who always seems to have an endless to-do list.  I am also somewhat extroverted so I am used to engaging people in conversation fairly frequently and easily.  Sitting in silence often equates in my mind with wasting time.  However, I have over the last few years been placed in situations which require me to sit in silence.  Because of these experiences, I have gained an appreciation for waiting quietly.  I would say that I still struggle with this approach most of the time but I am trying to discipline myself to create time and space for me to sit in silence.

What I have discovered when I allow myself to wait quietly is that benefits exist in this practice.  I have found that when I place a hold on my activity, sit quietly, and let my thoughts just be open, I have been able to hear the Holy Spirit better.  There have been times when in those times of silence, I have gained insight into challenges which I am currently experiencing.  During a few of these times, I have sensed guidance in new directions and approaches.  Still other times, I have been able to release tension and reduce my anxiety.

This has led me to deliberate commit myself to create more times of silence in my life.  Recently, I put together a plan regarding four major areas of my life.  One piece of that plan includes establishing more dedicated times for discernment which requires waiting quietly.  I know that this will continue to be a challenge for me.  My behavior patterns and perceived personality runs contrary to this new discipline.  However, I believe that this will have deep and long-term impact on my life.  Therefore, I will strengthen my effort to make this part of my plan a reality.

Reflecting   6 comments


Dad at ChristmasI have had some time to reflect on life over the past week.  With the death of my dad, I spent time looking back on his past and my own.  I also had opportunity to see the lives which he touched.  Preparing a video presentation for his service and an obituary, I was able to connect with parts of his life which I did not know or had forgotten.  All of this allowed me, and others, to take time to celebrate the life which my dad lived.

As I reflect upon my own life, I am amazed how much I have gone through and all the changes which have occurred in my life.  I am sure that all of us can say that we are not the same person we were 30 years ago, 20 years ago, maybe even 10 years ago.  Overall, this changes and adaptations are good and part of the growing process.  Yes, there are parts which we regret or wish had not occurred, but the truth is that even in those parts, there is something positive that has resulted.  I am glad that I am not the same person that I used to be.  The way I look at life and respond to life is better as a whole.  The joys far outweigh the sadness.  The opportunities seem greater instead of limited.  The hopes and dreams change but are not gone.

I am grateful for my dad.  He was not perfect but he taught me how to live even though I am imperfect.  He had a quiet approach to life which is generally opposite from mine.  He observed more than he ever told anyone about.  When he spoke, he was listened to because he did not speak a lot.  He was humble and was satisfied with a humble living.  I can continue to learn from him.  I will try to use his life as a guide for my life even though I am not the same man as he.

Thank you Dad!  I love you and will always love you!  Thank you for the lessons that you taught me and the many lessons I will still learn as I remember you far into the future.

Posted February 10, 2015 by thoughtfulbeliever in Family, Life

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Whirlwind   1 comment


Image from hddesktopbackgrounds. us

Image from hddesktopbackgrounds. us

The last week has been just a complete whirlwind for me.  This may seem evident since I  have not posted in over a week.  Last Monday I traveled to St Louis for a conference.  The trip was relatively uneventful and had some fun aspects to it.  The conference ended on Wednesday and I left to make a long, unplanned trip to central Nebraska.  Being in the car for over nine hours is not something that I want to do frequently.  Then it was back to my home location on Thursday.  Friday was my only day in the office (although I did work all of Saturday morning) and so it was definitely a day of “catch up.”  The busyness continued into the first part of this week.  I would have to say that this is the first “calm” day in my office.

Last week caused me to ponder the true meaning of Sabbath.  Traditionally, Sabbath is considered the one day each week when we are to relax and not do work.  This follows a pattern set by God and affirmed by God in what we know as the Ten Commandments.  However, many of us find it very difficult to set aside a specific day every week for Sabbath.  Life seems to have so many demands that we often are always on the run.  So we often feel guilty that we do not honor God’s commandment of keeping the Sabbath.  I would caution us not to let the guilt overwhelm us.  Especially since the guilt does not seem to lead us to change behavior.

In my devotions this morning, one part of a passage that I am reading throughout this week actually reminded me that the concept of Sabbath is far more important than the “day” of Sabbath.  The passage I was reading was John 9:1-41.  Jesus heals a blind man on the Sabbath which causes some Jewish leaders to label him as evil.  It is clear to me that Jesus was more interested in caring for the blind man than he was about honoring the day of Sabbath.  People always came first in Jesus’ life.

So I am convinced that the day of Sabbath is not nearly as important as the concept of Sabbath.  The concept of Sabbath is to take a break.  It is an opportunity to quiet the whirlwind which we call life and to spend time focusing on people, relationships, and our relationship with the Lord.  Each person has their own way of relaxing and creating calm in their life.  The key is to make sure that you are consistently taking Sabbath and benefiting from stopping the whirlwind even for a short period of time.  God knew that we could not keep up a crazy pace of life and so God modeled and then instructed us to find some calm.

I am going to work hard on honoring Sabbath in my life, I hope you will do the same.

Quiet   Leave a comment


English: Quiet corner, Loch Scadabhagh At the ...

English: Quiet corner, Loch Scadabhagh At the far end of the loch there is a great feeling of space. Only the sound of plovers this far out. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Sitting in my office today, I spent a little time just listening.  I have a small clock in my office that provides a ticking sound.  I concentrated on the sound of the clock as I was pondering what this day has in store.  As I listened, I was a bit taken back by how quiet it was in my office.  I thought about all the activity that has already been planned today and the activity that only the Lord knows will be happening today.  I realized how much I was enjoying the quiet with the sound of the clock being the only intrusion; an intrusion that was comforting because of the rhythmic beat it provided to the quiet.

 

All these thoughts pointed me toward being grateful for the quiet times in my life.  These are times that allow me to relax.  They are times that provide space for contemplation and planning.  But they are also times that allow me to gain some peace.  I am fortunate to have the quiet times of life.  There is a part of me that wishes I could have more quiet times.  However, as I mentioned recently in a post, I am not one that sits idle very long.  So I will thank the Lord for the quiet times.  I will strive to benefit from those quiet moments in the best way which I can. Quiet times provide the greatest opportunity for me to connect with the Lord and listen for a change.

 

Where do you find the quiet in your life?  What do you do with those quiet moments?

 

 

In the Quiet   3 comments


Lord Howe Island snorkeling - Double headed wr...

Image by Percita via Flickr

We live in a world that is filled with sounds.  No matter where we are, something is making a sound.  It might be animals, or vehicles, or the ticking of a clock, or the hum of the fan on a computer, or the furnace blower, or ……  The only way that we can escape sound is by wearing headphones that block out all sounds; even then we still hear our own breathing and beating of our heart.  Sound is part of the world.

Because we are constantly bombarded with sounds, we become accustomed to ignoring many of them.  In fact, we have to make an effort to truly stop and focus to hear specific sounds.  Since I live a very busy life like many of you, I do not always take the time to sit and listen.  I actually feel a bit of guilt when I choose to make myself do so.  I always know that there is something waiting for me to do.  But as I have thought this morning about being able to know what the Lord desires, I realized that the very first step is to focus on listening in the quiet (or at least as quiet as I can get).

I am reminded of this in two specific passages from the Bible:

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
(Psalm 46:10)

The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.”

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. (1 Kings 19:11-12)

I am reminded in these words from the Bible that I need to quiet myself and quiet as much around me as possible at times so that I can hear the gentle whisper of the Lord. 

So it is good to be in the quiet.

 

 

 

Too Crowded   Leave a comment


Concert Crowd (Osheaga 2009) - 30000 waiting f...

Image by Anirudh Koul via Flickr

Today when I went to my normal coffee hangout, it was too crowded.  I often enjoy sitting down and having conversations with friends while I drink some of my latte.  Today was not going to be one of those days.  The tables were packed and there was a high level of sound throughout the place.  So I ordered my coffee, chatted briefly with the barista and headed back to the office.

Sometimes in life thing get too crowded.  I think that is why Jesus would find times to go up a hillside and sit alone.  I can relate to Jesus’ need to get out of the crowd and the multitudes of sound.  Sometimes periods of respite and quiet are exactly what I need.

God understood this completely, that is why God established the concept of sabbath.  The Lord knew that life would be overcrowded at times.  By setting the example at the end of a period of creation and reminding us of that example in the life of Jesus, the message is that we need to walk away sometimes.  We are created to need the quiet and solitude at times.  We need to escape the crowds.

I am thankful for times that I get to spend with friends in conversation.  I am also thankful that when I see things getting too crowded, I am able to walk away into the solitude.

Posted September 6, 2011 by thoughtfulbeliever in Experiences, Faith/Life Connections, Life

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