I feel the words bubbling below the surface – my voice, my thoughts, my desires, rolling on low simmer.
Boil is approaching with a life force of it’s own.
God made me this way.
Ideas and metaphors wax eloquent within my mind. Then, they make their way out into the world- their analogy becoming clearer as I type.
Words have always been my teacher; I, forever, their pupal.
My heart is open and willing- yearning, even– to understand and empathize with their teachings.
But in the quiet, I’ve discovered a new teacher- and I have listened with fresh curiosity.
Her voice is sweet, gentle and compassionate; her lessons pointed and encouraging….
encouraging me to rise higher, to new levels of faith and prayer.
Silence, meditation, contemplation and the breath – this is where I’m seeing and experiencing Jesus, right now.
They help me stop, be still and know .
So quick to speak, these practices teach me the art of listening….
and in listening, I’m brought into God’s Presence – the present moment, now.
For me to know, I must feel.
I must experience it with my heart.
Because true knowledge, for me, is heart knowledge- a knowing, so embodied, that it’s truth permeates my being…. like breath.
These practices – silence, meditation, contemplation and the breath – have helped move truth from my heart down to my heart – to see and experience Jesus in that space.
Like the lyrics of United Pursuit’s, “Head to Heart’:
From head to the heart, take me on a journey- from letting go, to getting lost in you.
More than words more than good ideals, I found your love in an open field.
I first started exploring contemplative practices about a year ago, but it wasn’t until this summer, that God took me to new and deeper levels.
It’s been three months now, since I first logged off and went silent.
I deleted all social media apps from my phone and blocked their use on my computer. My goal was one month, but when the time came, I knew I was just beginning.
I’m slowly reemerging, but in the quiet, I learnt some valuable lessons I’ll take with me:
While “disconnected”, I feel and hear God clearly – sometimes loudly and in uncanny ways. I see Him present in the mundane and His hand, in the nuances of my day….
As if i’m standing in the centre of a windstorm, declaring: “Can you see that?! Can you feel it?! This is God’s Spirit moving!”
Before, I was too distracted to notice.
Too stuffed to taste.
Breath work and meditation help slow me down.
Four counts in …..
and four counts out ….
intentionally releasing and letting go.
While focusing on my breath, I consent to work of The Spirit within me. I Feel the moment and whatever it brings, choosing to be still with it.
In time, I hear him. Then I see him or I feel him.
In the stillness I know:
The Spirit is doing a deeper work than my mind can grasp- a healing work I must simply surrender to; be open and willing.
I’m learning to prioritize rest and self-care- choosing to love from a full tank, rather than refuelling after.
Practically, that looks like working from a place of rest, rather than resting from my work.
It means taking time each day to do the things that fill me up and keep me healthy: things like prayer, yoga, reading, naps, and getting outside regularly. Eating clean, drinking water and getting plenty of sleep at night.
It looks like asking for help and taking intentional time to be still – morning, mid afternoon and before bed.
And I’m learning to reward and pamper myself first, not after I get the job done!
A funny thing has happened:
My joy has doubled, and my peace magnified. And see Jesus in everything.
Revelation and wisdom come to me out of no where- and I’m eager to do the daily grind.
I do more in half the time I used to and I’m finally able to leave things unfinished.
I trust that God willl provide- the time, the resources, the knowledge, the answers – everything I need to do His will.
His job is to provide; mine is simply to ask and to trust.
Through the art of silence and centering, I’m taking myself off the throne and giving God back his rightful seat in my life.
Because when God puts me somewhere, he’ll keep me there, but if I put myself there, I have to keep me there!
Where I was once was chasing perfect, I am now choosing present.
Where I once was busy and striving, I’m now intentional and content.
Where my mind was once cluttered, my heart is now calm.
And I finally feel centred in my soul...