We’re continuing our study of the building blocks. Have you completed your Soul Care Plan for 2017? .Soul Care Plan Link Today’s topic is building block “Q”, for Quiet Time.
My thoughts (David Zier):
Every time someone tells me, ‘Don’t worry, Jesus tells us to not worry’, or ‘Don’t worry, be happy!’, “Blah Blah Blah!’ is what it sounds like to me.
I can tell myself a thousand times, “Do not worry.” I know it so well, but it’s so hard to do.
Just after seminary in 2010, I read a book, The Holy Longing – The Search for a Christian Spirituality by Ronald Rolheiser. In the book he states that many of us are not peaceful human beings who occasionally get restless. Instead, we are driven, obsessed, “congenitally dis-eased” living in quiet desperation, only occasionally experiencing peace. I think to myself, “How often am I really at ‘dis-ease’?”
So, I started to take notice of every time I had a thought that caused me to lack peace, or be in a state of “dis-ease”. I wrote down what I was thinking, or feeling, or the circumstance that triggered this. It wasn’t easy.
During this exercise, which I performed for over a week, I started to realize that when I prayed in the morning, even though I would still write down some things on occasion, the day was more peaceful, and that my notebook got more crowded as the day went on. So, I would change my pattern, and prayed at a different time of day. Quickly I noticed that my days would start off less peaceful, and become even less peaceful as each day would continue. A-ha! I realized that as I started each day with the prayer, my day would start off with less “dis-ease”!
But stuff still creeps in, even when I start the day with prayer. So, I decided to try to practice more breath prayers during the day, where I would take a time out for a prayer when I would feel a little less peaceful. Then I started to make a more conscious decision to practice the presence of God throughout the day to help me get to that peaceful place. Even in the midst of the day with the activity and noise, I allowed myself to practice moments of quiet time.
Bother Lawrence, a brother in a Carmelite Monastery in the 17th century, was one of my inspirations. He did not like mundane tasks like cleaning and kitchen work, but it had to be done and it had to be done every day. Brother Lawrence felt having a proper heart about tasks made every detail of his life possess surpassing value.
“The time of business does not with me differ from the time of prayer; and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the blessed sacrament.” (Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God)
I thought, “That sounds too good to be true!”
We are all unique. We each need to find that rhythm and space where we experience and share the peace of God. I can attest to what Paul tells us in today’s passage. Prayer leads me to the peace of God. Quiet time allows my heart and mind to be guarded in Christ Jesus. I pray that I can continue to practice, and live in that peace more and more each day.
Prayer for the day: God, help me to practice the prayer and quiet time that will help me with my own dis-ease, and guard my heart and mind with the peace of God. Amen.
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.