Slowing Down: Quiet Time with God

I live a hectic life. I go to school, work for my internship, work 3 days a week to pay the bills, and write for this blog. On top of the things I have to do I am also married and we have a dog. Along with school goes homework. When I get home I have a few hours of homework each day. Somewhere in there I try to fit in time for quiet contemplation.

Why do I try to spend time in quiet? Personally I think that people today are too busy. Each of us has lives like I do. Each of us fills our plates with so much to do. We normally relax with television, or the internet, some of us play video games. None of these things provide time for quiet in our lives. None of these things allow us to spend time listening to God or appreciating the good things that are around us. Each of these things allows us to keep up the rapid progression of things in our lives.

James W. Fowler states in his book Becoming Adult, Becoming Christian : Adult Development and Christian Faith “A vital key to understanding any society can be found in the range of vocational ideals it recognizes and toward which it nurtures its members.”

Our society nurtures us to lived a faced paced non-stop life. Where we used to admire a person for their virtue and usefulness to society (Fowler 2). Now we value a person for “the appearance or reality of success and wealth, by fascination with power and its exercise, and by the name and face of recognition that comes with celebrity or notoriety” (Fowler 2).

My question is what did Jesus model for us? Did he run non-stop and work to gain popularity? Take first the example of Mark1:23-25:

Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, What you do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know you are the Holy One of God! Be quiet! said Jesus sternly. Come out of him.”

Here was a perfect chance to increase his popularity. Even a demon knew who Jesus was and what did Jesus do. He did not use the statement of the demon to gain celebrity but silenced it immediately.

Next look further along in the chapter at Mark 1:35-36.

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. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”

I don’t get the impression here that Jesus just went for a walk. The disciples were looking for him and seem to state with exasperation “Everyone is looking for you!” People want to see you why aren’t you making an appearance? Jesus took time out of the public schedule that was set up for him and prayed.

I know that I need some time to spend by myself. More often for myself I needing a longer time away. I don’t take my iPod, just a book to read. I take the dog because her simple pleasure in the outdoors is a delight to me. I go out and spend a few days hiking in the mountains or paddling my canoe around a lake. During this time I just try to be quiet. I don’t talk, there is no one to talk to. I actually try to avoid other people out on the trail. I use this time to just unwind. I find that it takes me at least one full day before I start to feel at rest.

During this time away I just listen. I spend time in quiet recharging. We live a life that is too fast paced. We drive too much and spend to much time accomplishing tasks. I challenge you this week to take a page out of Jesus’ life. Take a night, if that is too much take an hour, and don’t accomplish anything. Don’t just quickly finish that project. Don’t answer that last email just go for a walk, read a book, spend time quietly acknowledging the beauty of silence. Spend time listening to God. I know if you have never done this it is hard. I find it had if I am not away out in the mountains. Still try spend what time you can in commune with God.

Finally, remember you may not succeed the first time. Do not get into a cycle of guilt and shame. That is counter productive and will continue to lead you to failure.

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~ by curtismchale on October 9, 2007.

9 Responses to “Slowing Down: Quiet Time with God”

  1. Good advice. I appreciate your blog. Keep up the good work.

  2. You got it quite right – it can easily take 24 hours away from the ‘rat-race’ before our jangled, hyped-up nervous system is able to return to it’s resting state and allow us to better hear/feel Gods word/presence in our lives.

    The Guilt Cycle is most definately counter-productive.

    The deeper we immerse ourselves in today’s increasingly earth-centered world the harder it can be to maintain a communication with God.

    Jesus spent time in the wilderness – how many of us follow His example?

    Thanks for sharing the Word. 🙂

  3. Thank you for stopping by the Knitting Our Way to Peace blog today. I enjoyed your post as well. I think slowing down and taking time for God is very important. As a Muslim, who does her best to pray her five daily prayers I find it hard to concentrate and give myself over to it while I am doing it. Slow down! I will keep reminding myself of that. Thank you!

  4. thanks for visiting my blog. your comment was great. ive enjoyed reading your blog. this post is really great! looking forward to reading more… peace.

  5. this was great a piece. I’m supposed to teach sunday school on this subject this weekend. Pray that I can convey God’s will for his children to spend personal time with GOD.

  6. […] Up. Who are you Spending Time with? A while ago I posted Slowing Down Quiet Time With God, and today is check up […]

  7. […] Read if we don’t act? A while ago I wrote about spending quiet time with God. I also updated on my progress. I am still fighting what seems to be an uphill battle with spending […]

  8. […] Minstry Doesn’t Rest As I have mentioned before I have a busy life. It is mostly a product of my own doing. I regularly accept more tasks in my day […]

  9. […] “After [Jesus] had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.  When evening came, he was there alone…” -Matthew 14:23 (Another blogger addresses his struggle with–and remedy for–the busy lifestyle.) […]

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