There is something quite powerful about quietude.
In a world that seems to have a never-ceasing appetite for noise, finding a place and attitude of solitude and quiet can be invigorating.
For decades, the clammer of more entertainment, more information, and more advertisement has grown louder and louder. Think about it. With our dependence and obsession with social media, digital delivery of music, teaching, and information, we rarely have times that the only sound you can hear is the voice of God.
One of the greatest lessons that I have learned over the past few years is the power of solitude, along with quietude. To stop the endless ping of my iPhone with one more reminder that someone needs instant access to me. Or to not have my headphones on with music blaring or even mindless noise that can usher me into a moment of peace.
Next time you are at dinner with your family, just watch how many folks are seated around you having “family time”, while all five of them are on their phones or tablets. That might describe your family. Determine to have device-free dinners or family times together. I promise you, that not checking Instagram or Snap-Chat every 20 seconds is Okie-Dokie!
The days that I actually meditate in the solitude of silence are the days that I handle stress, conflict, and people much better. And the days that my urgency screams at me to go and get something done seem to be the days that fall apart most consistently.
As a result, I’ve been working on three steps each day. Each step is preparing me for the day, its challenges, and it’s blessings.
1) Start each morning (for me, it’s with coffee) with 3-4 things that you are grateful for. Write them down! I use the app, 5-Minute Journal on my iPhone. I then write down what I will do (tangible) to make today great. And finally add one statement of affirmation, such as What I am choosing to be today. As I write this, This morning I wrote that “I am a fully loved and forgiven child of the Divine.”
2) Create a place to get still, comfortable and quiet. Begin speaking out loud to the Divine Creator of the Universe. My Meditation/Prayer includes four things.
a) Gratitude – God, thank you for ________________.
b) God, you know my day, please pour wisdom from on high onto my life as I _______________________.
c) God, today, would you guide and correct, bless and keep my family? I name each person in my immediate family, especially Jenny. I continue that with asking the Lord to meet every need, guide and protect each person I am meeting with that day. I then finish this prayerful segment by praying through the church prayer list, especially those that have been marked confidential.
d) The provision, listening and reading for today – Lord, please meet my physical, fiscal, and emotional needs throughout today. I first listen to the Sugar Hill Church Podcast, then read my reading plan from He Reads Truth (app) and respond by answering the three questions asked at the end of the Bible reading and commentary.
It’s that simple. I know what you’re thinking. Chuck, that’s great, but I don’t have time to do that! You are a preacher, and you’re supposed to do that. Before you determine that you CAN’T do that, read this. The usual time spent in my daily meditation is less than 20 minutes. As you start, keep it to 10 minutes and grow as you can. We all make time for what matters most to us. If you really want a better you, this will do it!
I know this:
–Gratitude for what you have will make what you have enough!
-Asking for wisdom is essential to success.
–Praying for others reminds me that God has called me to serve others.
–Listening, reading and responding to God’s Word are core strengthening exercises.
If you are stuck in a rut, or you need some energy. Maybe you are wallowing in a challenging relationship, or struggling to determine what to do with your day or your life. You can be a far better you when you create a time of solitude, quietude, and meditation.
Try this for five days and let me know what you discover! Send me and email to email@example.com